Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not Exactly a Snowman

Last night, a coating of snow crawled across the grass in our backyard (and everyone's backyard in York, for that matter). So, this morning, after Tyler and I had eaten our Fruit 'N Fiber cereal, done a few puzzles, and practiced a new dance he affectionately called The Uptruck Dance, we layered up and went outside to build a snowman.

Well, not exactly a snowman.

Me: T-Man! Let's build a cool snowman!

Tyler: No, no, no, no, build, build Gruff-a-lo!

Me: You want to build the Gruffalo instead of building a snowman?

Tyler: Yay! Build BEEEEG Gruff-a-lo!

And so, we set to work, rolling three large balls that would make up the body of our Gruffalo. In case you're reading this entry, wondering what in the heck a Gruffalo actually is, then you're in for a treat.

A real treat.

I'm talking about the kind of treat that makes your mouth water.

Your knees tremble with ecstacy.

Your jaw plummets in wonder and awe.

Your arms flap wildly as if you were a bird trying to fly far far away from wherever you are, now.

Your legs bounce rapidly as if you were a kangaroo, bounding across the terrain of sheer beauty, while a light rain drizzles softly on your cute kangaroo-head. (You cutie, you.)

See, we were introduce to an amazing little picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, entitled The Gruffalo. (Check out the book here.) We hadn't heard of it until we moved to England, but when we first read it, it was all Tyler wanted to talk about, think about, read about, or consider. Indeed, the Gruffalo became a close confidant, and helped us navigate the meaning of life for at least a month.

the phase is now passing, but this morning, as we heading into the new snowfall, Tyler--for whatever reason--longed to bring the Gruffalo back to life again.

Maybe he missed that old purple-prickled, green-warted monster; or maybe the snow inspired him to ask himself, What truly amazing thing can we build? A snowman is too easy! Far too easy! let's make it a Gruffalo!

Whatever our two-year-old son was thinking, as we rolled those large balls of snow, he was excited. He relished the chance to build something with his mittened hands. And when we took a short break to kiss his mommy and the love of my life goodbye as she headed off to work, it was hard not to smile and think to myself, Isn't this a small part of what it's all about? In life, we create things that, hopefully, keep creating. And we sometimes stand back and say, sweet.

Granted, the snow-Gruffalo we built this morning looks basically like a glorified snowman with two large feet attached the his bottom ball.

But in Tyler's mind, it's one heck of a Gruffalo.

Okay, fine, you got me: it's a Gruffalo in my mind, too.