Spring is here, finally. Once again, we can feel the promise of another summer in the air. (How wonderful is that!) Today however, I’d like to share a little winter story – just as a last farewell to this years cold season.
A few weeks back I was dropping my son off for school. His younger brother was sitting in the backseat of the car. On this particular day I had some extra time and I had promised him a visit to a cafe, a special treat that he was really looking forward to.
Then, just as we turn the car around, it happens. A minivan comes in from the side at quite high speed, heading straight towards us. I have two options: being hit by the van or getting out of the way – quickly. Of course I choose the latter, pressing my car as close to the snowbank as possible, which pretty much means into the snowbank.
The van drives by and disappears. But now we have another problem: we’re stuck. No matter what I do, the wheels just keep spinning.
With a sigh I realize that by the time we get someone to help us out of this, it will be too late for a cafe visit. So I turn towards my son in the backseat, to explain to him that there may not be any cake today after all. But clearly, he has already taken in the situation; his lip is quivering and I can see tears start to fill his eyes.
I take a deep breath and look at the snowbank. I had promised my 4 year old a cake, and he had been looking forward to it for a long time. And then this happens?
I turn towards my son again.
“You know”, I say to him, “let’s have a talk with the car, okay? Let’s try again. Let’s give it another chance.”
And I start working; 0ne inch forward, one inch back, one inch forward and one inch back again. It doesn’t seem to help much.
But in my sons eyes I see a new light: hope. In his mind, the image of the cake that had suddenly faded away, now starts to reappear.
This inspires me to keep trying. Another inch. Backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards..
After almost 15 minutes and countless tries, I’m starting to wonder if this is getting us anywhere. Then I suddenly feel the tires getting a better grip, and the miracle happens: slowly, slowly – holding my breath – I back the car out of the snowbank and we’re back on the road again.
The cheer from the backseat is worth diamonds. He is so happy it almost brings water to my eyes now. Not only because the cake is back within reach, but because we made it, we conquered the seemingly hopeless situation and actually got the car loose. High five!!!
We drove off to the cafe as planned and I didn’t give the incident with the car much thought. But clearly the experience had made a deeper impression on my son. Because a few days later, while struggling with a stubborn Lego project, I hear him having a conversation with himself:
– When we’re stuck, what do we do?
– We try again.
– And when we’re still stuck?
– We try again!
– But if we are still stuck!??
– We try again!!!
– And what happens then?
– We drive away to the cafe and eat cake!!! Yeaaahhh!!!!!
I smiled and thought to myself; Isn’t it strange – and wonderful – how even an old car stuck in a snowbank can have something valuable to teach us.
Oh, and by the way; that cake really did taste delicious. 😉