Winter is really here to stay. It is below -20C (-4F) all the time now. Yesterday it was -23C and I took Emma out for a little walk in the baby Bjorn. I wore two coats, one that has a double head opening for baby carriers (it is called a baby papoose, if anybody wants one in large I will be selling mine very soon for half price, since I bought it too small and when Emma grows a bit I will need the xl size). On top I wore a fur coat that is as old as myself, it used to belong to my mom when she was young. We looked like two eskimos. Whether she enjoyed it, I cannot tell, because she was very quiet the whole time (probably instinctively knowing that if she opened her mouth, her saliva would freeze, haha). Later on last night my mom called wanting to make sure that I am not crazy enough to take my baby outside in this temperature (she saw the temperature on TV). I said of course not, absolutely not (insert devious smile). This is the first year that mom actually cares about what temperatures I live in. So far she could not care less, even if I told her on the phone - she would not register the reality - but now that it comes to Emma, it is suddenly important. Well, if mom had listened in the previous four years that I have been here, she would know that to avoid -20C is to stay indoors all winter, and that cannot be healthy either. A child needs to get outside daily I think. She needs to see the sky and breathe some fresh (frozen) air. And she needs to adapt to the surroundings. I have adapted better and better with each passing year, to the point that now, all I wear when shovelling snow is my yoga pants, a T-shirt (sleeveless) and a light down jacket. Plus hat and mittens, those are mandatory. Especially the mittens, always thick, or else my fingers could easily get frostbitten.
This is the second winter since I lost Adrian, and every time I walk or drive past the funeral home where we cremated him, (which is really all the time since the home is right next to my house), I remember that morning in January when his body evaporated into the sky. I was also walking past the funeral home then, knowing that he would be cremated that morning, and I saw the smoke and vapour go up into the blue, clear sky, and felt a lot of longing but also a lot of peace, knowing that he was with God and with me, surrounding me at the same time. I miss Adrian just as much, but I don't feel the emptiness anymore. I wonder if he would also be as soft as Emma, if he would also lay his head on my shoulder and collapse into my neck, if his baby chub would be as delicious to kiss as Emma's...and I miss him every time, but Emma fills me up with so much love and is such a pleasure to be with, that I am profoundly happy and fulfilled. It is not the absence of longing for Adrian, it is the happiness of being with Emma that makes my life so much better.