Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hard Work Warms My Heart and Getting Out

It was pretty amazing how much snow came down yesterday. It was unrelenting, and my first impulse was to be a wimp and stay in for the long haul. But we had CB over, and together with the kids, they were itching to get outside and go skating. So I had to be a man and motivate, and let me tell you, it was quite the undertaking. Having to haul all those skates and all those hockey sticks, not to mention several shovels to clear the snow on the ice, made for a serious logistical nightmare. It's great having the truck in this regard because you just toss everything in the back.

I was actually surprised that nobody was out on the ice. Sure, it was almost a white out, but it's a snow day, a day off from the rigors of academic life, and it was beautiful outside. Still, no kids. Which worked in our favor because we had the ice all to ourselves. In fact, when we got there and were greeted with an absence of other bodies, there was a resounding cheer inside the car.

And, of course ,the rink was buried in snow. It seemed like a foot of the white stuff, and while it was light and fluffy, when it gets that thick it's a bear to clear the ice because it accumulates and gets heavy. But you wanna know what was really cool? A, N, and C all grabbed a shovel and set about helping me clear the ice. In fact, nobody put their skates on for the first twenty minutes, and they all worked so hard at getting the ice in shape to skate. It was heartwarming, I loved that they (unprompted, mind you) were so willing to work so hard.

Best of all, because there was nobody out there, we got to play our favorite game, Polar Bears and Penguins, which happens to require a fair amount of setup in terms of shoveling snow, but well worth the time and effort. We ended up skating on the ice for hours, and by the end, not only were we soaked, but my hair was frozen solid with snow. At some point I said we had to get home because I had to make dinner, but the kids wanted to play some more.

So while I dug out the truck and warmed it up, they played on the massive snow mound in the rec center parking lot. What a great day. We came home, had hot chocolate with marshmallows (they always ask for marshmallows, which for the record I loathe, and then they don't eat them) and hung out by the stove. The end of a great day.

BTW, we fell off the vegan bandwagon and had kielbasa for dinner. It was strange eating so much meat, but I found myself devouring it. A nice little treat, actually.

In the end, the kids forced me to get out and deal with it. I did have some concerns about getting stuck in the snow, it was that bad, and our drive hadn't been plowed yet, but the truck can handle pretty much anything. And because of it, we had a great day.

Besides, if it's just A&N, it's not a problem, but when they have a friend over, I feel obligated to entertain (the hovering, helicopter parent in me), and worry if they get bored. I know, stupid of me. I figure the last resort is to pop in video, but try to avoid it at all costs. The kids are good about playing games or just clowning around, and for the most part, we avoid DVDs altogether, but getting outside is indeed the best scenario. Meals are also a good way to pass an hour, especially if you get them involved.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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