Saturday, December 1, 2007

Silenced by First Snow

The first snow of the year always silences everything. The sky is bright, even at night, but all sounds are muffled as the white accumulates.

We've a rain/snow mix here, but before the rain came a nice covering - enough to play in. Cate spent about 8 hours outside today, which she hasn't done since the free days of summer. Right now she's inside, in the bath, but still giddy from the clear change of season today.

While I was out gathering supplies for a snowed in evening (hot chocolate mix, gingerbread house kit, wine - a low effort evening in, that is), my husband Michael took Addie out in the snow. It didn't last long.

We'd taken her sledding 2 winters ago. Unfortunately on the first descent, she and I got whitewashed with crusty, icy snow as our sled cut sideways into the packed path. She cried for the next hour and refused to sit with anyone on the sled again. We couldn't leave yet, Cate was just 6 years old - prime age for endless hours of trudging up the hill and skidding down it tirelessly. But since then Addie has had a love/hate relationship with winter - she loves cold air and wind - it makes her babble and jibber jabber with gusto - but she despises the proximity to snow.

If the girl's taught us anything though, it's to keep on trying. Michael took her out today. She took her mittens off. He put them back on. She took them off. He put them on, she...well, you know. It was too cold to let her feel the snow for long with bare hands, so they had to come back in.

We mulled it over a bit. Mittens. It would be like me bundling up for some "fun" outside and finalizing the preparations by putting duct tape over my mouth. Addie cannot "speak" with mittens on. She cannot sign with only a thumb and four bound fingers. Whether she's got anything to say or not, having someone bind your power up is probably not something that any of us would gladly comply with.

We'll try and find gloves in her tiny hand size, but I have my doubts about keeping her chunky digits in those. I think the prevailing response to this realization will be that she goes outside in the winter, just as in every other season, with nothing on her hands. And to be honest, I can already foresee that it will also mean that in a subconscious act of solidarity, I will often forget my own gloves.

Stay warm!

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