02 February 2007

Snow Babies

We were completely afraid that this entire winter was going to be a big fat dud. Many of its early days saw temperatures of 40-45 degrees, so on the rare occasion the temperature dipped low enough to allow snowfall, it was quickly melted away. In fact, it has been quite some time sice we've had any snow of note; we purchased a sled for Charis last winter which she was completely unable to use in the year 2006.

Now, though, we are enjoying--and I really mean that--a bonafide winter. It is a sign of a true northerner that when told by the weatherman they can expect temeratures well below freezing and a snowfall of several inches, they smile contentedly and say something like, "It's about time!" My personal feeling on winter is that I don't mind it as long as everything is frosted in white. When it's just cold and dead and grey, well, that I can do without, thank you very much.

So last Sunday, we went to Abe's parents' house to belatedly celebrate his mom's birthday. We had a great winter meal (chicken broccoli alfredo and garlic bread, angel food cake and chocolate angel food cake with three different ice cream varieties to choose from and a homemade raspberry sauce to top it all off, and homemade sparkling grape juice to drink), and then we bundled the kids (and grownups!) and turned to the outdoors. Abe's parents have a decent-sized hill for sledding--perfect for younger kids, but still fun for the bigger ones, so Charis finally got her first sled ride.

She was not thrilled.

Here she is with Auntie after going down the hill and being pelted in the face with snow. We realized that she vastly preferred going down backwards--no snow or freezing wind in the face, no feeling of impending doom when racing towards the trees at the bottom... Still, she was honest:

"Charis, do you want to go down the hill with mommy?"



"No. Inside, please."

Oddly enough, after introducing her to the wonderful world of snow angels and freeing her from any sledding obligations, she was all too happy to remain outdoors even after all of the kids and ladies had gone inside.

Here is our little snow angel.

Judah's role in the day was a bit smaller. He did go down the hill a couple times with various parents and aunts and uncles, and seemed neither to enjoy it nor dislike it.

His nose did run like a faucet. And he did have an unmistakable "I'm freezing out here, guys" look about him, even though he was bundled to the hilt with a snowsuit, hat, cozy pjs, extra socks, and warm boots. His greatest show of pleasure that day came when he was finally freed from his fleecy confines and allowed to be nekked.

Here's our cold little fella with his Uncle and Auntie who, by the way, lovelovelove him. They have assured us that if he ever turns up missing, chances are they have borrowed him from us.
That's okay by us! Uncle Jed runs dogs--and is really good at it--and wants to take Judah someday when he's older. Won't that be fun, especially for Judah?

This last picture was taken towards the end of our time outdoors, when the sun was going down and it was really starting to get nippy. I offer it as proof that big kids can have fun, too! (Though I was a bit afraid we were going to pop this snow tube) All in all, a really really good day! And the weatherman has lined up single-digit temperaures for us in the next week, so it seems we will continue to have opportunities for outdoor winter fun!


Onna said...

WOW look at the snow! So glad you all had fun with the kids!

Lorie said...

While I'm really trying my absolute hardest to figure out how you find playing out in the freezing cold snow getting wind-chapped and wet--not to mention red noses and numb toes--fun, I simply can't do it. Even your beautiful prose describing a perfectly Norman-Rockwellesque day of frollicking in the sparkling Michigan snow cannot persuade me to enjoy winter.

Poor Calem. We did not even bother to purchase him boots or snow-pants, or even a proper winter coat this year, and CERTAINLY not a sled--knowing full well there would be no way on God's green (or white) earth that we would be taking him out to play in the snow. No, no, I'm afraid I am one of those people cursing the little white flakes flying through the air and whining incessently until spring finally arrives. How unlucky that my lot in life is to live in Cleveland!

All that said, I am glad your children have a mommy so eager to help them enjoy winter and all the snow and biting temperatures it has to offer. For me, it will be a huge sacrifice to bundle up and trek the tundra--one I will eventually make for the sake of fulfilling childhood winter memories. Just not this year. Poor Calem...