The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Snowman
This morning my son came to me with a ragged carrot in his hand and said, “We should hold a funeral for the snowman.” Seconds later he started crying like we all have cried once over a melted snowman or a sand sculpture washed away by the ocean or a broken toy. As a parent would instinctively do, I started making up a tale.
“Snowmen don’t die,” I said, obviously. “Look at the snowflakes. The soul of a snowman lives in those snowflakes.”
“They are too tiny,” he said poutingly. “That’s not enough!”
“See, when they reach the ground you can gather them together and make a new snowman.”
“I don’t want a new snowman!”
We get into our car and start driving to the daycare.
“Let me tell you then about the life of snowmen.”
“Being a snowman is not so bad at all. They can go places. For example for it to snow here water has to evaporate somewhere in a warm country. From a big ocean for instance. Go up to the sky as fog, then travel in clouds to us, freeze into a snowflake and drift down.”
We get out of car, close the door and walk towards the kindergarten hand in hand.
“And when the snowman melts the water goes to a pond or a lake,” I go on with my story rather pleased that it turned out so nice and logical. “They can travel and talk to fish if they want. They can be to places we never can.”
„Perhaps you could stop now,“ he says half way to the kindergarten front gate.
I apologize and we go inside, but his wording keeps echoing in my head. ‘Perhaps you could’ not just ‘stop’, it sounds patronizing.
I come back to my house and see the carrot on the grass surrounded by a thin layer of new snow.
Sure, it’s not enough. Why couldn’t I just accept death?