Friday, January 13, 2012

Mother Nature hosts a playdate

I have said it before and I'll say it again, I do not know how to parent in a northern winter without the aid of snow and ice. The kids keep looking at me, like starving dogs, to feed their hunger for entertainment. And I keep looking at the sky for help.

Case in point, we went for a walk-- yawn-- through the brown landscape, sprinkled with hints of what could be, and just as everyone was about to fall asleep on their feet, I stepped onto a snow-dusted section of my parents' driveway and, be still my heart, slipped on ice. Beautiful ice.

Ice Ho!  Ice Ho! Ice! I yelled. (Lest anyone take offense, let it be known the girls had been playing pirate ship on a fallen tree and some just moments earlier.)

The girls came running and, like trained Olympic curlers, swept away the snow to reveal a three yard stretch of smooth, delicious, opportunity-filled ice. Right there in the middle of nowhere, silently waiting for us.

First I took a running start and slid across. Then Esther followed and Isla after her. Soon they were smiling, giggling and hooting, and slipping and sliding and mock ice dancing and, in the case of Isla, ice break dancing back and forth along that darkly perfect stretch of ice. They were riding that ice like they stole it.

And I breathed out a huge mommy sigh of relief at finally, finally, feeling like a Vermont winter mom again. Phew!

An hour earlier, I had been threatening to get in the car and drive half an hour  to a ski area or indoor skating rink. Finding fun without doing that, and without spending a penny, is, to me, sweet victory.

On the way back home, we discovered the stream running through our pasture was frozen enough to walk on. Not exactly a river to skate away on, but Isla was determined to teach her feet to fly.

Walking the plank.

Read my most recent post at BabyCenter, if you'd like.


Kate D said...

Are they regular or goofy? Can't tell from the pics. We've been having fun with the ice on our driveway, too. I watched my son (the skier) this morning and thought "if he ever wants to learn to ride, he's definitely regular!" This winter-of-no-snow is very tough on everyone in our family.

Betsy said...

They appear to be regular. I'm kind of disappointed, being goofy myself, but I suppose I can still love a regular-footed child. :)

Mama Badger said...

We just got our first real shipment of snow this morning, and I found LG standing at his window when I went to wake him up. He wanted to go outside IMMEDIATELY and make a snowman. And if I wasn't dressed for work, we would have. Hopefully this storm reaches you!

Jane said...

That's awesome! I wouldn't know what to do with snow or ice since we never ever get it here!

Anonymous said...

Your post - your beautiful post - made me cry. That was my childhood - the drift of snow, the fallen log - - the plank. I had forgotten.

I wish you snow.

Betsy said...

Thank you, Anonymous. And I feel privileged to have brought back your childhood for you.

alouise said...


kellyg said...

I felt the same way over the school break. We had no snow and the first 4 days were rainy -- that cold 40 degree rain. We were cooped up in the house. We were supposed to be out sledding and making snowmen and snow angels.