anyone following knows that my family has a problem with winter. namely, my kids don’t like the cold. more than that, they detest winter wear: coats, hats, scarves, mittens, even coats. each season, as the temperature dips low and things begin to freeze and then the snow flies, the walls begin to close in as we spend less and less time outside and finally, are inside all day every day. for months.
some people have kids that can’t be kept inside. that is not the case for me. i had high hopes after joel was born that things would change. unfortunately, those hopes were dashed. the first kid seems to set the tone for the rest of the little ones that follow and it wasn’t too long before joel picked up on ruth’s anti-cold weather behavior.
that’s why, yesterday after joel and ruth woke up to see the snow coating our yard, and they both began making exclamations that they wanted to play in the snow, I was less than optimistic. to say I was dreading the entire experience would not be an understatement. I mean, ruth can already be sensitive about clothing before trying to introduce snow pants and the like and joel mostly has been refusing to wear anything outside but his sweatshirt.
however, I humored them. what more can a parent do? and it almost fell completely apart. from ruth throwing a violent emotional fit about how her pants were fitting to miles in full outdoor garb screaming on the floor while I got the other two ready (hey, I haven’t done this in a while. I don’t have a good system worked out yet), to joel going out and coming in about five times before he was satisfied with his attire, and I was about ready to have a full blown mom fit, which rivals in intensity anything my kids are capable of.
but I was able to keep my cool just long enough to get them all outside and let the cold air and whipping snow silence their protests. that blast of fresh air along with the powdery dust beneath their feet seemed to have a magical effect on them. they stopped whining, crying and carrying on and started running around, laughing, enjoying themselves. whew. at that point, our trip outside was already worth all the fuss and bother.
but it didn’t stop there. if you can believe it, something even more magical happened. I suggested the sleds. they agreed and ran ahead to the garage. I used the broom to get them down. I suggested, gasp, they get into the sled and I pull them by the string. and….THEY DID IT (not miles, of course. I buckled him into the umbrella stroller and propped him in a spot out of the wind).
if you were my neighbor, you would have thought I was on a crack binge with the amount of zest I was pulling those kids around with. I mean, I was RUNNING with a giant grin on my face, front yard, backyard, up and down the driveway. I mean…this is suburbia. no one gets this elated about anything or puts on a display in public like that. but I was elated, almost manic, to have my kids outside. in the snow. actually PLAYING and ENJOYING themselves.
it sounds overly dramatic, but I can honestly say that those fleeting minutes that occurred yesterday? well, I’ve waited for those minutes for five and a half LONG years. and it was awesome.