For some reason, my children do not like playing in the snow. They ignore me when I suggest they go outside and play. They whine when the suggestions become stronger. They grumble as they put on their snowsuits, and they do so only after being bribed with hot cocoa. I think the problem is that our yard here in town just isn’t very interesting. Uninterested in either snowmen or snow angels, mostly all they can do is trudge about, climb the drifts and try to toboggan down a drift with the bottom of an old guinea pig cage.
This has put a serious damper on my goal of raising all-weather children. I don’t need a general practitioner to tell me that playing in the snow is good for you and getting a broken bone or two is all part of the fun of childhood. Apparently, I just needed five acres out in the country.
Before I even have the house unlocked, they have dragged out the toboggan and begun working on making a trail down the hill. Mouse challenges herself by standing up and they keep a running tally of who has gone the furthest. Impatient for a turn at the hill, one of them commandeers a carton from the bottled water and uses the plastic wrapped cardboard as a secondary toboggan.
I go in to paint, listening to the noises of them coming in and out of the basement. They come in just long enough to defrost their fingers and toes before the call of the great outdoors lures them out once again. I smile as I listen to their screams of delight and think this is what childhood should be.
I finish my painting and grab the camera to take a picture of their rosy faces lit up by the thrill of play. But this is all I find.
They’ve hiked down to their fort to see how it has stood up to the snow storms and escape the wind themselves. I go back to my painting until the sun hangs low on the horizon. They come in for a snack and are upset to find me getting ready to leave.
“Ten more minutes,” I tell them.
And they race outside. Apparently, jumping off hills trumps dinner any day.
In the morning, in our little house in town, I suggest they go out and play in the snow.
“Do we have to?” they complain.
No, my children do not like to play in the snow. Such a shame.