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  • Writer's pictureJessica McQuistin

A Mindful Motherhood Moment: Sunday Morning Shoveling

A quick note about the photos: I didn't have a more recent photo of the kids shoveling so I'm sharing some oldies! I just love the smile on Kate's face in the first pic, where she's standing so proudly with her shovel!

On one of the first snowy Sunday mornings of this year, the kids finished up their letter to Santa and wanted to mail it right away. I wouldn't let them go to the mailbox in their pyjamas...unless they put their snowsuits on top. So the four of us all put our snowsuits on over our pyjamas and walked to the mailbox. (Neighbours may be laughing at this, as our mailbox is only about thirty steps from our front door! It definitely took longer to put our snowsuits on than it did to walk there and back!)

After that pleasant and purposeful excursion, the kids wanted to shovel the driveway. Being the logical (read: lazy) grown-up that I am, I cautioned them that shoveling this early, while the snow was still coming down fast, might be a complete waste of time. This did not deter them in the least! So I sat on the front porch, all cozy and warm in my snowsuit and jammies, asked Jamie (husband) to fetch me my unfinished coffee, and watched them shovel. Here's what I wrote that morning:

I have the best view right now.

I’m sitting on the covered front porch

In my snowsuit with a hot coffee

Watching fat snowflakes fall

While my children shovel the inch-or-so of snow that has accumulated on the driveway,

Pausing now and then to catch snowflakes on their pink tongues.

They push the snow around in zigzags and curves

Revealing the black of the driveway underneath

Creating designs, like letters of a foreign tongue

That begin to slowly fade from the moment they appear

As the snow carries on covering every surface within its reach.

I told them it doesn’t make sense to shovel yet;

We’ll just have to do it again later.

But to them


Makes perfect sense.

Though I don’t speak their language

I’m beginning to understand.

Though I don't always enjoy every part of being a parent (the responsibility, the noisiness, the mess, etc!) there are moments when I'm genuinely overcome with gratitude for the presence of these little creatures (aka my kids) in my life. Kids have so much to teach us when we let them do things their way, and just sit back and watch.

A few things I learned that morning:

  • You don't have to shovel the driveway in straight lines

  • You don't have to wait for the snow to stop falling before you start shoveling (and the falling snow melts quickly on a black driveway)

  • Coffee tastes even better from the cozy front porch on a snowy day


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