Sunday, August 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Baby? It's cold outside

Snowstorms, you see, are more than weather events. They are nature´s way of replenishing the population. That´s why they arrive during winter - our most vulnerable time of the year.
Snowstorms, you see, are more than weather events. They are nature's way of replenishing the population. That's why they arrive during winter - our most vulnerable time of the year.

THE CONSEQUENCES of our snowy winter will show up nine months from now, and when they do, the consequences will have names.

Those innocent children, conceived during blizzards and power outages, will arrive through no fault of their own. So, do me a favor. When the baby boom begins, don't take it out on the kids. It's not cool to saddle them with names like Ice Storm and PECO in an effort to get back at The Man. It's wrong to name them Black Ice and Snowflake in the hope that they'll become spoken-word artists.

What's the right thing to do? Accept them. Love them. And know that they will live with you for 18 years before going away to college, and ultimately returning to occupy your basement like the 99 percent.

Maybe you're not ready for kids yet. Maybe you're looking back on your actions and wishing you'd done things differently. But I'm here to tell you that no kid is born by accident. They're born because we get frisky when it snows.

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  • Don't get me wrong. I'm not condemning you for the things you did to pass the time during the snowstorms. After all, it was cold. The lights were out, and the only thing you had to keep you warm was your significant other. You didn't have time to search your nightstand for contraceptives, and that breeze knifing through the gap in your insulation kept extinguishing your last candle. What were you supposed to do? Freeze? Play tiddledywinks? Wait for the power company to get your lights back on in a timely manner? Of course not! You were supposed to let nature take its course, so that's what you did. Unfortunately, by doing so, you walked right into nature's trap.

    Snowstorms, you see, are more than weather events. They are nature's way of replenishing the population. That's why they arrive during winter - our most vulnerable time of the year.

    When it's winter, you're so cold you forget about your other problems. That job you hate is bearable because, well, at least the heater works. That argument you had with the wife doesn't matter because if all else fails, her heater works. If your husband is a slob who looks awful in summer; in the winter, at least his heater works.

    After all, when it's 10 degrees outside, it doesn't matter how we get warm. It just matters that we do.

    This wouldn't be an issue during the summer, because when it's hot, everything and everyone, including your spouse, ticks you off. But when it's cold outside and the snow starts to fall, your snookums becomes utterly irresistible - right after they finish working on your nerves.

    I've studied this phenomenon. I even have a name for it. I call it, "You get on my nerves, but I love you when it snows."

    Here's how it works: The snowstorm arrives, and people who are not accustomed to being together during the day attempt to compromise on mundane decisions. The Kardashians or ESPN? Twitter or Facebook? Red states or blue states? Paper or plastic?

    Before long, they're arguing, but after the fireworks subside, the couple makes up and a different brand of pyrotechnics takes over. Nine months later, it's time to pay the piper.

    That's the scenario many couples will face this fall, because the snowy winter is going to leave behind much more than man-sized potholes and fallen trees. If I'm right, and I bet I am, this winter is going to give us a whole slew of children, so we might as well start getting ready now.

    If you're among the thousands of couples who spent this winter being naughty, here's what I need you to do: Take a pregnancy test. Once you've established that I have accurately predicted your future, do the following:

    Prepare a room with a bassinet for your little bundle of joy. Buy yourself some earplugs to block out the inevitable crying. Get in a few counseling sessions to prepare for the sleep deprivation. Open up a savings account to pay for your child's first iPhone.

    By the time your little snowstorm gift is ready to go off to college, you will have adjusted to the joy and chaos of parenting. It's a good thing, too, because those first 18 years are just the beginning.

    Your snow baby will spend a lifetime reminding you of the joy that comes from storms.

     


    Solomon Jones is the author of 10 books,including his latest novel, The Dead Man's Wife (Minotaur Books), and the humor collection Daddy's Home: A Memoir of Fatherhood and Laughter. The married father of three has been featured on NPR and CNN, and has written on parenting for Essence and other publications. He created the literacy program Words on the Street. His column appears Tuesdays. More at Solomonjones.com.

    Solomon Jones
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