02 The Fall

As we kick off a new year, winter has already begun its annual barrage of snowfall and freezing temperatures. To cope, Aaron tells a story about a mother, her young son, and how a little winter, can go a long way.

Don’t miss this episode of Smirk, as we dive into a topic as timely as any, but rarely discussed.

Welcome to Smirk. A podcast that covers society and culture through a storytelling lens. Part creative writing, part discussion, and always interesting. Each week our hosts brings a story to the show, a story they wrote themselves. These stories can cover any topic the host wants to discuss, it can be light-hearted or more serious. No one but the author knows if these tales are truth or fiction, and part of the fun is guessing while you’re listening before the reality is made clear.

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Want to read Aaron’s story “The Fall” in full? Think you can identify the moral or theme for this episode? Read it below, and then take a listen to the podcast.

The Fall

Maria is tired.

Working a double shift at the café again, all she wants to do is get home, lie back on the couch, and collapse. Unfortunately, she’s also a working mother, and her 10 year old son Caleb has coerced the babysitter into allowing him to stay up a little bit later tonight, just so he can see his mom.

As Maria drives home, the streets are dirty and dark. It’s the Midwest, and there is nothing dingier at 11PM than a sloppy winter street. It’s just warm enough to keep the ice at bay, but just cold enough to remind Maria she should have made better life choices before you she settled down.

Rounding the final turn to her house, she sees the lights are still on. She knows what this means. Her son bribed the babysitter, and she’ll have to spend another couple of hours entertaining Caleb with a movie or a board game. Things she ordinarily would love, but not after a double shift. Not after today.

Maria walks in the door, and immediately she’s met with a powerful lap hug from Caleb, followed by 37 questions that all sound exactly the same. Without blinking, Maria shouts at Caleb, “Can you please just give me one minute alone?!”, which she immediately regrets.

Caleb stumbles back, and begins to cry. He runs into his bedroom and slams his door. The babysitter looks only at the floor, grabs her bag, and leaves. Maria has her wish, she’s alone.

Maria knocks on Caleb’s door and opens it to find him still sobbing on his bed. She sits on his bed, and begins to stroke his hair. He pushes her hand away, not angrily, but in a subtle way that cuts Maria even deeper.

She prepares to eat her words and embark on an apology tour when all of a sudden, Caleb jumps up! “MOM!” he screams, and points out the window. Before she knows what’s happening, Caleb has already thrown on his winter clothes and bounced out the front door. Maria panics and chases after him, without a coat of any kind.

“What is going on?!” she screams as she arrives in the front yard. And before she finishes her step, she completely understands. A snowfall has arrived. In less than 30 minutes, an inch of soft, white powder has fallen, and Caleb has already taken to making snow angels in the lawn.

“Mom, can you make one with me?”, to which Maria drops to the snow and happily obliges. As Maria and Caleb look at each other, every ounce of anger and exhaustion has vanished.

Maria giddily tosses a snowball Caleb’s way and in the still of the snowfall, their joy and laughter can be heard from miles away.

Now, listen to the full episode as we dissect Aaron’s story.