I was detained by snow at the bottom of our 1/4 mile long driveway this afternoon on our way home from a doctor's appointment. Amidst a flurry of profanity that fell somewhere between my imagination and audible levels, I got out of the car and made my way to The Boss's backseat office. I pulled on her hat and stuffed her hands into mittens. The woven pink and white tubes where her thumbs were supposed to go hung limply. I didn't have the time or inclination to fight her opposable digits into place.
The winding, unpaved driveway leading up to our home is owned by our neighbors. An easement granting us right-of-way is the only thing that allows us legal access to the rest of the world. The problem with such an arrangement is that we have an almost total lack of control when it comes to maintaining the driveway. In the spring and summer, it is one huge mud rut that's a rainstorm or two away from total annihilation. In the winter, it's traversable only by off-road vehicle. That's all well and good for my neighbors and my husband. As we found out today, it doesn't bode so well for me and the Boss in my rear-wheel drive Caddy.
Once The Boss and I were properly protected from the storm (except that both of us were wearing unseasonable footwear), I hooked her legs to my waist and began to trudge up the hill, keeping to the impressions made by the wheels of the neighbor's Cherokee. I started to breathe heavily, as I am prone to do when exercise induces my asthma. The Boss heard my jagged exhales and turned her gaze onto me.
"You're lucky," she said.
"What?" I cocked an ear closer to her mouth because I was almost certain I hadn't heard her right.
"You're so lucky."
"How?" I resisted the urge to snort, mostly because I was already having enough trouble breathing.
"You're walking in the snow," she replied.
And in that moment, looking onto her smooth, red-cheeked face, feeling her legs against my hip as they reached longingly for the road, I saw how I could be construed as lucky. The snow fell in fluffs and landed unspoiled everywhere. Naked trees were dressed in its shimmers. The dirt was gone. My stacked heels pressed the white cover in quick, crisp steps.
The Boss smacked her lips and opened her mouth as her head fell back in abandon. Her teeth--two curved rows of hard-won enamel--surrounded a fleshy pad that was desperate for its first taste of snow.
Everything in that instant was clear. So many shades of pink, and then the whiteness. The Boss, ruddy in my arms, saw the white all around her. I couldn't keep my eyes away from the vivid hue of her complexion as it fed off blood coursing hot just below the surface. There was only truth in her newness.
Suddenly, I wondered how I could have considered myself anything but lucky.
Cross posted at New England Mamas.