Thursday, November 11, 2004

Blink, and you'll miss it

We had our first real cold snap this week, and a little bit of snow. It has been wonderful biking in the woods to work. The coming of winter helps me forgive Munich for its dreary long fall.
I turn off my headlamp (it's dark already at 6PM) and bike hrough the woods in snowlight, using the black of the trail against the snowy edges. The trees had not yet lost their leaves before this week's snow, so they bend down snow-arms across the trail.

It's absolutely silent in the woods. It seems hard to believe I'm living at the edge of a city of 3 million. Astonishing.

The boys got their new snow things this week, which instantly doubles the time we need to get out the door. Our youngest, Geordie, has outgrown the plaid snowsuit that all three boys had worn. That's it-- it's done! We'll never use that suit again. It was an ugly old thing, but it sure kept them warm. He's in a sporty new REI outfit that grandma bought. Josef and Matthew are also wearing new coats and new hats. Matthew's has a pompom, which he refers to as his "alarm." During the flurries yesterday, he bared his cheek and asked me if he had snow freckles. A poet could do worse than riffing on his kids' neologisms.
Last night after bedtime, there was some definite noncompliance going on. I went up for a look-see, and glimpsed Matthew flopped on his bed, head propped up on elbows, flipping through a comic book like a teenager.

Having young kids around makes you appreciate how quickly life can move. They go about their lives with seeming nonchalance, but you put them into a new coat, and they suddenly look years beyond your laggard preconceptions. I guess this help keep you young at heart, because they deliver moments like this of complete astonishment. But keep on your guard, because they're chary with their revelations. Blink, and you'll miss it.

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