I called my mom one afternoon to check in. It was the middle of winter. I attended college in the Midwest, and there had been a huge snowfall in northern New Jersey where my parents lived.
She picked up the phone, sounding slightly out of breath.
“Everything okay?” I asked.
“Yeah. We were just playing in the snow.”
“Oh fun! Were the kids over?” I said, referring to my nieces and nephews who lived in the area.
“No, just your dad and me.”
“Wait, what?” Just you guys?”
“Yeah. We built a snowman and made snow angels.”
My parents were empty nesters after having six children spread over 17 years. They had quite a few grandkids by that point, but I hardly pictured my nearly retired parents playing in the snow by themselves. They were supposed to be the responsible ones, the ones who went to work and kept the house clean and volunteered at church. Playing in the snow looked so...frivolous.
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