Personal Essay: Lose the Winter Blues

graphic of mother and daughter ice skating

After the holiday season everyone talks about the post-holiday blues, New Year’s resolutions, and then winter blues. I can blow off the blues without giving up my favorite foods, vowing to exercise more, or de-cluttering KonMari style. How is this possible you may ask? Nothing beats the winter blues like experiencing the winter season through my baby’s eyes.

My “baby” is now 4 years old and even though Kyli insists she is a big girl, she will always be my baby. In winter she loves to cuddle close and hug to stay warm. This melts my heart. Although I get a little icy when she says her legs are frozen and she can’t walk down the street and I have to carry her like a sack of ice. But those warm hugs make it worth it. Once we are holding each other tight, we both forget about the cold and feel our warm hearts. This helps me tolerate winter.

They also say cold hands warm heart. My little lady detests bundling up in her hat, mittens, and layers upon layers and prefers to throw them off. The struggle is real. Kyli has no body fat so when we (finally) get outside, she’s suddenly a frozen Popsicle. I ask what flavor Popsicle but she says I’m not funny and that she’s not a Popsicle. She says she is frozen solid and can’t move quickly and proceeds to walk in slow-mo. It is quite a sight. There is nothing cuter than my tiny daughter all bundled up and moving like a marshmallow man. Trust me. It makes me smile inside and out. Plus, she always puts her winter weather accessories back on after all so I don’t look a totally bad mom. This helps me endure winter.

Whether we get a flurry of snow or a nor’easter, it is equally magical to Kyli. That is part of her charm. If there is even a trace of snow, she loves to stick out her tongue and try to catch the snowflakes. She’ll take any tiny bit of snow to make a snow ball and throw it at me with the biggest, happiest naughty grin.

It’s fire on ice. Speaking of fire on ice, Kyli also loves to ice skate. She especially loves when her big sister and friends hold her hands and skate around with her. Whenever the big girls tire of this and Kyli eventually takes my hand, she holds on so tight. I love this tightness and closeness and it squeezes on my heart strings. We giggle and smile and ice skate. This makes me grow fond of winter.

Nothing turns winter frowns upside-down like hot chocolate. Kyli loves to warm up with hot cocoa and marshmallows. She knows to order cocoa with marshmallows on the side. That means one cup of cocoa and one cup of marshmallows. It’s sheer child genius. She always eats the marshmallows first because the cocoa is too hot. She eats those marshmallows one by one and savors each and every bite until they are gone. Then she’ll take exactly one small sip of hot chocolate before saying she is done. And I usually don’t mind finishing the leftover cocoa. She often helps feed it to me to make sure I don’t spill (like mother, like daughter).

It’s all very sweet. This helps me appreciate winter.

Of course there’s lots of indoor play this time of year. We used to get stir crazy and tire of staying inside to play but then we discovered that there’s nothing more fun than playing summer in wintertime. She parades around in her swimsuit, sunglasses or goggles and takes out our beach chairs and beach blankets. Sometimes she even dresses up like a mermaid and swims (in the bath) then retreats to the beach to build pretend sand castles. It’s beachy keen so much that I don’t even mind all the extra summer laundry in winter. This makes me love winter.

Every wintry wonderful thing I do with my littlest lady makes for a winter a wonderland and then the cold doesn’t seem so bad anyway. I’m seeing everything with rose colored shades instead of moping in the winter blues thanks to my delightful daughter! I never thought I’d say this but I may love winter after all!

Jana Beauchamp is a Manhattan writer and mother-of-two.