Well, the winter ruination of childhood has been forestalled with the overnight seasonal arrival of 3 inches of nice white fluffy snow and temperatures maintained below 30 degrees. It was a beautiful morning with blue skis and the grey-edged puff-ball white winter clouds; my favorite cloud variety for January. I had tentatively planned to use the day catching up on all the domestic chores I struggle to keep up with lately, but finally we have a real winter day--on a weekend no less--so I was going to do something fun with the family. There is beautiful park just down the road with an enormous sledding hill. My family has hiked the woods in summer and I've run races on the perimeter of the park in spring and fall, but we've neglected this park in the winter, primarily due to the last 3-4 years of strange winter weather. I expected it to be packed, but what the heck; it's right down the street, so there is no great investment of time getting there or coming home. I hunted through closets and boxes of forgotten winter apparel, gathering what we'd need for a few hours out in 28 degree weather. My kids were so excited.
Surprisingly, the sledding hill wasn't that crowded. I didn't see many parents mingled in with the kids on the sledding hill and it's probably due to the steepness of the hill. The sledding hill is steep enough and long enough to warrant a towing line to the top. It's a phenomenal ride down that hill, but it's a lung buster climbing back up. We only had one plastic sled, so the kids took turns going down the hill and trudging back up. My son was in total heaven. I thought he would be more fearful, but he was totally digging the rush of hurling down that crazy hill. I went down the hill once, screaming all the way, but I didn't want to take too much time away from the kids, so my primary function was to push the kids down the hill.
Mostly, I enjoyed standing at the top of this grand hill and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Again, I kicked myself for forgetting the camera. The Goodyear blimp was even flying by. At the bottom of the hill is an enormous tree that can be seen from very far away. It's a treasured landmark of this park, standing alone and proud, in the middle of the vast meadow that stretches out of the sledding hill. I noticed the tree was circled with big bales of hay in case sledders found themselves destined into the trunk . It's not likely, however, but I'm glad the park officials provided this as an extra measure of safety.
My daughter, being a petite little thing, was having a hard time gaining enough momentum to get over the little mogul in the middle of the hill, but finally she made the mogul and she continued on down the bottom. She wiped out at the bottom, but immediately she stood up and started the trek back up the hill. I was standing at the top hooting and hollering for her valiant ride down the whole enchilada of that enormous hill. I was beaming proud, but as soon as she was 20 feet away from me she busted into tears. "What's wrong? You did so well and you made it all the way to the bottom. Didn't you have fun?" Now, I noticed a red rash on the side of her face. Apparently, when she wiped out at the bottom of the hill she encountered the sledding hill version of road rash--mogul rash. Then she tearfully admitted, "Mom, I went up in the air and I didn't like it." That was the end of her sledding adventure for the day. I offered to stand around the bonfire with her near the parking lot, warming up while the boys finished up. My daughter seems to favor more "coordinated sports where she has a little more control". She'd rather go ice skating because she's coordinated and has total control on the ice. My son looks like a Great Dane puppy on ice with his splayed out long legs fighting for control and just hates it. I think fast sledding and fast cars are in order for my son. Sigh.....
We went home and I made real hot cocoa on the stove. The only thing that wasn't perfect was we were out of mini- marshmallows. Seems like I just bought a bag not too long ago, but I have a sneaking suspicion my sugar-loving daughter has been marshmallow foraging when I'm not looking.