An amber window against the dark calls me home. Mommy meets me at the back door. She peels off my dripping snowsuit, my mittens balled with ice, the blue scarf she knit last Christmas. I sit on the floor in front of the heat register as she pulls off my red rubber boots. The smell of juicy pork chops replaces the cold smell of snow.
I climb into my chair at the dining room table. I bow my head and say grace on auto-pilot, as a rhythmic incantation I’ve been taught.
Even though “God is gray,” I am blessed by the aproned mother passing me a baked potato, the father who keeps snow crystalline and magic. Not biting and cruel. My bedroom stacks atop the dinning room. The cool caress of a crisp pillow case against my cheek, the heft of a wool blanket covering my coiled little body, I am as snug as a fetus in the womb—floating in the warm water of family.
They say every snowflake is unique, falling to the ground at a given time, in a predetermined space. Some drift from the sky, a single flake, its fat pattern almost visible to the naked eye. Others fall in a riotous squall, their destiny undiscernible even by the most convoluted equation. So it is with babies, sent to parents without instructions or training. Some land in a happy home full of pork chops. Some in a bubbling stew spiced with trouble. Does God’s calculus ever fail to compute? Even if it takes a lifetime to work the problem?