I was sick during this past bout of snow – the first real snow this winter where I live. As such, I spent most of my time in bed convalescing. My wife and neighbor (the senior with the bad back) shoveled the sidewalk and around the van in the driveway. I will forever feel guilty about that. As a 40-something it’s my job to do that sort of thing. Overall, I feel a little disappointed with myself for not doing my job.
But what I missed most of all was being outdoors with the girls as they went sledding in our back yard. We have a great little hill for sledding. Nothing too big or steep to worry me and the wife as parents, but still plenty steep and big enough for the kids to have lots and lots of fun. This is especially fun on the second or third day of cold weather, when the sledding path has frozen a little and become significantly faster. Then they shoot down the hill and plow into the powder at the bottom. I really enjoy hearing the exhilaration in their screams and laughter. That is one of those great parenting moments.
It reminds me of the first big snow we had since buying the house. The area was blanketed by 16 inches of snow shortly before Christmas (nice early present for the kids) and about 2 weeks later another 8 were added to that. And cold, but not arctic cold, temperatures kept the snow and sledding path up and running for a long time.
But my favorite memory during that winter had to be how the then-9-year-old decided to stop sharing rides with her then-5-year-old sister. With her longer stride and stronger legs she’d hustle her way back up the hill in order to jump into the sled before her sister could get in with her. Undeterred, her little sister gave great chase and almost managed to keep pace. Not enough to catch up to her big sister, but enough to get close enough to develop her own sledding method. You see, the older sister would quickly sit down in the sled and start to go down hill. Just as she was almost out of reach, her little sister would leap, stretch out as far as her little 5-year-old frame would allow, grab the back of the sled and get pulled along on her belly – screaming with sheer delight the whole way! (Maybe she was the inspiration for Olaf??) It will forever be a favorite memory until my brain ceases to function properly.
(Okay, that last sentence is an easy set-up to see if either of my brothers take the bait and comment on this blog once and for all.)