Never underestimate the fun that can be had in a park in the middle of the Winter.
Although I still despise the season and loathe the snow, Hayley loves it. Personally, on a day like today, where it was snowing in the morning and then sunny and cold in the afternoon, I would be very happy with a blanket, a couch, a cup of tea, and a good book. Sadly, children rarely agree.
I couldn’t get Breanna to take a nap early enough to wait for her, so instead I left her with George, who managed to knock her out for two hours just by rocking her and playing some music for her (which would not work so easily for me!), and Hayley and I headed out after lunch.
It wasn’t so bad out, depending on which way we were walking. If the wind was heading straight at us, it was definitely cold, not that you can ever get a little kid to admit to that. At one point I remembered my teenage self going to school with my jacket wide open, my hat stuffed in my pocket because oh my GOD who wears hats other than little kids and old people, no gloves, and if I had a scarf on it was draped uselessly on either side of my coat. Today I wondered how the hell I had ever managed to do that because I was bundled up and freezing. Clearly I am getting old.
(Actually, I knew I was finally getting older the other day when I walked to the store. Again, it was really cold and I was shivering in my layers and my winter coat and my scarf wrapped around me. I passed a girl in her early 20s who was wearing a jacket that only came to her waist and underneath it she was obviously wearing a cropped top because every step she took, her jacket would ride up on one side or the other, exposing skin. And as I actually thought to myself, my God, I’m cold just looking at her! I realized that people had often said that to me. Cripes.)
Anyway! We trudged through a lot of snow because it hadn’t been cleared away yet, and we made it to the park. Hayley was ecstatic because she was under the assumption that the park closed in the Winter. I explained that no it didn’t, just that most people chose not to go there. She didn’t care. She ran full tilt through the snow, frequently falling in spectacular face-plants, and went on all the things she would have normally gone on in warmer days. In fact, she was able to easily practice swinging on the big girl swings because if she fell off (she did, once), it didn’t hurt.
On the other hand, the slide proved a bit tricky but it was pretty damn funny.
I managed to wait for awhile with her, but eventually my feet were getting really cold, and so was my face. I really need to get myself a pair of ski pants so I can run around with her more, but I had fun watching her giddiness. Eventually I convinced her to leave, and we walked the long way around the block to get home. At one point there was so much snow in one drift across the sidewalk that Hayley actually fell down but she made the most of it and made a nice snow angel right there.
No, seriously, that’s a sidewalk. Under there, somewhere.
Though she still wouldn’t admit to being cold, in a rare confessional moment she did confide in me that she was getting really tired. All that snow was making walking harder for her than it was for me, so I had to egg her on with encouragement. And a few snowballs lobbed at her head. We finally made it back and after she made three more snow angels outside the door, I bribed her inside with promises of hot chocolate.
She had her warm drink and I got rid of the chill with some tea. We hung out in the living room for another half hour until Breanna and George woke up, and I realized that although I will never ever be a Winter person, at least not unless I get back into cross-country and downhill skiing, it’s not THAT bad. Maybe.