Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow, snow, snow, snow!

In the winter it's hard to get outside with the kids.  Jude is just too little to tolerate being in the cold for more than a few minutes . . . if I bundle him up to enough to be warm while playing outside then he can't really move.  He looks like the little kid in that movie, arms straight out plus a red face from angry crying.  Sophia loves to go out and play in the snow, but I can't exactly take her out and leave Jude inside (the havoc he would wreak!), and she is too young to go on her own.  That leaves Daddy or her cousins to go outside with her . . . a couple weeks ago her older cousins took her out for an hour after naps, and it was her first time playing outside in far too long.

After such cold, last week's warmer temperatures were a huge tease!  We finally got out of the house for a couple afternoon walks, and relished not going thru our oil like it was water.  The kids space heater stayed off at night, and I secretly hoped and prayed that the rest of winter would please stay so mild!

Then along came Nemo.  Sounds so benign, doesn't he?  I scoffed at the weather reports . . . they always overestimate how bad a storm will be.  Remember earlier this winter when we were supposed to get 18 inches and they cancelled school the night before, to end up with only a dusting?  I figured Nemo would be more of the same.

I realized just how right on the predictions had been this morning on my way home from work.  Huge drifts everywhere, desolate roads, wind blowing with minimal visibility, and the only way to know where you were on the road was by keeping an eye on the guardrails.  One of my coworkers drove me home from work in his 4-wheel drive truck, and when I got out I had to wade thru hip deep drifts to get into the house.  I felt like I was in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book with their wild blizzards.  Ok, that might be an exaggeration.  But it was pretty crazy, and the hip deep snow was not an exaggeration!

John and I were equally unexcited about the monstrous pile of snow in our driveway and yard.  But Sophia?  Thrilled.  She thought the snow was just magnificent.

John had just started working on clearing our driveway after putting the kids down for naps when I got up.  I waved "hello" thru the window and gave him a "good job!" thumbs up before settling down to relax in my pjs.  A few moments later he came to the door . . .

"Get Sophia back up, she can come out and play while I shovel."

I went to get Sophia up from her nap, and you'd think she won the lottery.

"I can get up?  And go outside?  Yay, yay, yay!!!  Come on, Mama!"

She exclaimed all the while getting layered up . . . "Oh, my pretty purple mittens!  And my beautiful pink scarf you made!  I love my cozy hat!  Can I wear my brown boots?  Oh, my purple boots!!!  And my fancy snowpants!"

And then she stepped out the door into a winter wonderland.  I had forgotten how much fun snow is when it is up to your head.  But she reminded me pretty quickly . . . I remember one winter when it was so deep in our front yard that my grandmother put a pair of boots on top of the snow upside down, as though someone was tipped over in the snow.  I thought that was so funny and clever!  And snow forts.  We used to build massive, amazing snow forts and have snowball wars with the neighbor kids.  Back then snow was fun, not a hassle.

Sophia had fun today.  She played outside for two hours while John cleared snow.  She made little slides out of drifts, played on her swing, and generally ran around like a crazy person.  When they finally came inside, she was wet thru from the snow, but didn't care a bit.  Remember those days?  I stripped off her wet clothes, settled her on the couch with a blanket and rice heating pad, and she cuddled up into a little ball until she was toasty warm again.

"Daddy said we could have hot cocoa, Mama.  No, not hot chocolate, hot cocoa.  Can you make us some hot cocoa?"

I'll be honest, I am not looking forward to more snow this winter.  I dread driving in it with all the crazy drivers, and hate spending money on oil over and over again.  Winter is a necessary evil to me . . . I try to suffer thru it as un-complainingly as I can, and then get to enjoy an amazing spring, summer, and fall.  Now that we have kids, though, I guess it is time to take a closer look at the potential of a wintery day.  It seems that the occasional skipped nap is a worthwhile investment in wonderful winter memories.  Time to do a little less bill-paying and dinner-making during naps, and a little more snowman-building and snow angel-making.


"Hurry up, Mama!  Time to go play!"


Is it snowman material?


I'm sliding!!!




Time to learn how to make a snow angel.


So little, and so much snow!

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