Abandon

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: Abandon.

Abandon 600x600

It snowed here on Monday.

Late winter snows aren't unusual in the Chicago area, but this year I was mostly aggravated by it.

My aggravation worsened when I got a text from my husband reminding me to be careful because the sidewalks were slick. It was an important reminder for a known klutz like me.

A few hours later, I woke my 21-month-old daughter from her peaceful slumber. As is typical, we read a few books before then going to our living room to snuggle some more in our favorite chair.

We never made it there.

She got distracted by the window.

Snowblowing Dec 2016

“Snow!” she yelled excitedly, frantically pointing outside.

A few minutes later, she brought her snowpants, hat, and coat to me. Like an offering, she laid them at my feet before asking, “Park?”

I nearly burst into tears when I looked at the clock and realized I had to head to the office and couldn't oblige her one request.

So I did the next best thing: I assured her our nanny would take her outside to play in the snow and then headed into work.

By the time I got to work, the early snow was already starting to melt.

That morning, I quickly shifted into work mode, frantically trying to get caught up as I methodically made my way through my long to-do list.

After lunch, I noticed even more snow melting and thought to myself, “What am I doing? I can work later. But we won't have this snow for very long!”

So I abandoned work and raced home, threw on my snowpants, and then got my daughter into hers. We trudged over to the park and raced through the snow.

Much to my delight, my daughter discovered that her steps left footprints in the snow. We'd walk a few feet and she'd turn back, in awe of the footprints she'd just created.

After exhausting every inch of freshly fallen snow, we made our way over to the playground and slid down slides filled with snow, landing in a giant heap at the bottom of them, both of us consumed by a fit of giggles.

Winter Slides, March 2017

We then went back to the field and made snow angels. A few hours later they became grass angels, a reminder of just how fleeting so much in our world is.

Lately, life has felt very heavy.

But on this one winter afternoon, it didn't. My daughter and I simply abandoned ourselves to the holy act of play and delighted in each other, creation, and the freshly fallen snow.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.

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