Another snow day, another day at home. While the snow was falling, with no end in sight, my husband and I were happy to keep our almost 5-year-old occupied.
First up was baking cupcakes. While my husband did the first round of shoveling, my daughter and I got out the ingredients and utensils and began the process. Due to my daughter’s dairy and egg allergy, we use a very special recipe (which is beyond delicious!). We measured, mixed, and then my daughter took the spoon and devoured the uncooked chocolate goodness. I did have to tell her that she could not refill the spoon with a second helping of batter.
The cupcakes were already in the oven when I realized our store-bought, ready-made frosting had gone bad. I either had to make frosting from scratch or go out into the storm to buy it. After all, what’s a cupcake without frosting?
Feeling a bit antsy, I decided to brave the storm and take a walk. Luckily we live in walking distance to our town center and I figured that the local drug store would have ready-made frosting in their food aisle. I added on layers to brave the 10 degree temperature: sweatshirt, fleece, heavy jacket, scarf, hat and gloves, and began my trek.
I walked in the street as many sidewalks were not yet cleared as the storm was still underway. I prayed that I would not get struck by a plow and kept walking. As someone who walks everyday for physical and mental health reasons, I felt prepared for the more intense exercise I would receive, as walking through snow is like walking through sand. It can be tricky, and indeed, it was.
I made it to the drug store and was able to warm up for a bit. Unfortunately, there was no frosting. I persevered and kept going, further away from my house, to the market that is close by. When I was just one street away from the market, I could no longer feel my face. The snow was whipping at me and it did not matter which direction I walked. I began to talk to myself: “You can make it…this is for your daughter…you are a good mom!” Hoping no one would see this silly woman walking in a snowstorm, talking to herself, I began to walk faster.
When I made it to the market, I felt as if I needed to high five the other brave souls there. “We did it! We made it!” While I did not follow through on that, it did feel as if we were in it together. We were the very foolish folks who went out in a storm. After spending time walking the aisles to warm up, I bought the frosting and headed out to return home.
The walk back did not feel as burdened as the walk to the market, but this was helped by a stop to get a hot cup of coffee along the way. When I returned home, my husband opened the door and I told the story of my journey. I could not feel my legs and I felt a chill that did not go away until about six hours later.
So, why did I do this?
A year ago at this time I was fairly absent in my daughter’s life, both physically and emotionally, due to my depression. I missed taking her to many friends’ birthday parties. I would sit and read books to her, but I was not really “with” her. I know I am trying to make up for that now that I am healthier.
My husband and I try not to spoil our only child. I could have made frosting, which would have only taken a few minutes, but I forced myself to work for it. I felt that it was imperative that I do this for my daughter, and yet at the same time, it was really about me.
My daughter asked if she could eat a cupcake now that I had the frosting, and I helped her frost it and apply the rainbow sprinkles. Cupcake perfection.
When I sat by the fireplace, snuggling under a blanket, I felt good and proud. She is my world and my definition of love. I will continue to work through my guilt, which is an unwelcome result of my illness, but if I need to hike through a blinding snowstorm for her again, you can bet I will.