Well, the sun is now shining, but earlier this week, we had winter moisture in nearly all of its frozen forms. On Monday, while I was driving to pickup children all over metropolitan OKC, we got a lot of sleet and fog which then turned into black ice. Driving was simply a nightmare, and I saw many cars crashed on the side of the highway. In fact, I slid through an intersection myself. It was that dangerous. Monday night we had snow which made my youngest child, Miss Bear, overjoyed. Her siblings were also doing the happy dance because their schools were closed.
In central Oklahoma, we don’t get many snow and ice opportunities. Some years, we get three or four snow events. Other years, no snow at all. It is even more rare for us to have enough snow to sled. When Bear woke Tuesday morning, she opened the doors to an inch and a half of snow and ice. She clapped her hands together and gathered her sledding gear. I was just grateful I didn’t have to drive anywhere.
After breakfast, she went outside and made run after run. Then, she came back in, despondent.
There are few children in our rural neighborhood, so she had no one to join her. Only a year ago, her brother, ASW, would have been outside before she was, but he’s too old now. She didn’t even dare ask the Diva.
I was at the computer, of course. I was busy. More than busy; I had an article due for Oklahoma Gardener, and posts for RDR and Examiner to write. I tried to ignore her pleading silence at my back, but . . . .
There’s a moment when your child looks at you. She’s so sad and lonely, you want to scoop her up in your arms. You start to, but can’t because she’s too big for that. It’s then that you realize she’ll be a teenager in the blink of an eye. Then, she won’t want you to play with her anymore. I also thought of my friend, Staci, and how she’d once checked her girls out of school to play in the snow.
I shut down the computer. Writing could wait.
Her face brightened. “Can we go down the big hill?”
The big hill is the one next to the road by our house. I don’t let her outside the fence line without me or one of the big kids.
We gathered the other sled and pretty soon, we were going down the hill at breakneck speed. I hadn’t sledded in years. I told myself I would be sore in the morning, but every time I felt that whoosh, I didn’t care. As we trudged up the hill for about the fifth time, the falling snow pelting our faces, Bear said “This is hard.”
“It’s great exercise, though,” I said. She looked at me, and we both grinned.
Going uphill may be great for the body, but sledding downhill is exercise for the soul. How about getting some of that kind of exercise today?