Over the last five years, a good sledding-worthy snowfall has become rare. All the more reason when the magical snow day comes to dig into a huge breakfast and head out to our favorite sledding hill. It’s a much anticipated day for this family as we have always loved to sled. Our community turns out in force for this beloved pastime in our local park.
We see families dressed in their winter snow gear, even though the last time we saw many of them they were in their swimsuits at our local pool. Snow days are that rare chance during the winter to get out and to say, “Hi neighbor!” People we long missed seeing since the school year and all of its dreaded homework returned.
People usually come out in droves on a good snow day. Mostly dads marching back up the snow packed hills with us moms taking pictures, catching up, and offering up thermoses full of hot chocolate.
Yet this year, with the arrival of our first snow day of the winter, our family didn’t go sledding.
It feels like the appearance of an emotional vacuum or a rip in the space-time continuum of our family’s fabric. This simple oversight somehow represents a change in everything. It is like the moment we realized we were no longer one of the “baby pool” families. We were on the other side of the fence now… forever. Our kids are older now, two teens and an almost ten-year-old. All kids almost double digits now. Wow.
Very early this morning, our youngest arose sometime before 06:00 and went outside to play in the brand new snow. My husband and I missed it since it just so happened to be a Saturday and we actually slept-in. Yet we missed him playing in the snow and sledding with the neighbor’s children in our yard. We didn’t get to snap one picture. He even let the dogs out and made his own PB&J!
The rest of us woke between 9-10 and my husband started making banana waffles while we all peeked outside our windows taking in the beautiful white landscape. We all dug into breakfast and then something weird happened.
Our two teens, my husband and I all went out to the living room and settled in. Books and newspapers were opened, phones were retrieved, and silence fell over the crowd. No one brought up sledding. An hour or two went by and I kept expecting someone to ask when we would go sledding. Our youngest was in and out and thrilled for the weekend’s arrival and the chance to play with neighborhood friends. I fielded two requests for hot chocolate but not one for sledding.
The teens eventually asked if they could walk up to our local library and get some movies. They also wanted to stop at our local market to get chocolate chips so I could make “snow day hot chocolate.” So away they went. No sleds but happy still to be out in the snow.
I asked my husband after they left if we were going to take them sledding. He said that would be fine by him, but they all seemed so happy with what they were already doing.
So here I sit feeling blessed. It is weird and wonderful. It feels a bit wrong that this is a rare snow day and we aren’t sledding. I would love to see all of our neighbors, but I guess all of their kids are getting older, too. Maybe we would just show up at the hill and it would be a new generation of young families running the slopes.
So this might be yet another new normal for our family. The teen parent life is so incredibly different for sure. So what if the sleds sit propped up in our garage today unused? So what if this is our first snow day in fifteen years that we have not gone sledding.