Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ode to Sliding

As I write this Pat is in the process of helping our son move into his new bedroom. Pat and I painted it on Sunday. Our boy is so excited! Not sure why; he already has the biggest room in the house. I suppose that would be more important to a girl.

While I can't completely admit that this weather is fabulous, I will admit that the shining sun definitely eases the punch of winter. The days are slowly warming but not much. At least today anyway. Having to go out to recess with kids everyday at work, I have to find even the slightest positive to this lovely Minnesota winter stuff. And for the most part, it's not so bad. I have to say I spend more time outside than many do, not by choice. Well, I guess in a sense I know what this job is all about so maybe a part of is is by choice...who knows.

My shivering ceases to exist as I watch the kids romp around in the snow, slam themselves into snowbanks, try to slide the furthest, and hop on the playground slide only to come flying off the other end....it brings to mind all that time I spent outside as a child. Snow angels, tubing, skiing, snow forts, skating, snowball fights but I hated those because my brothers always ended up whitewashing me, but my most favorite--building the fastest sledding hills in my neighbor's back yard. We had metal saucers that flew down those hills. But that wasn't enough, we tried putting water on the trail to ice it up. Little did we know that we had to do that at night when the temps cooled. We never could succeed in that whole icing of the trails.

We built really 'intricate' trails that of course never seemed to work right away...the neighbor girl and I spent hours outside. Curves here, jumps there, around this tree, into that snowbank. Of course, as an adult I'm sure these 'intricate' trails were nothing more than a slightly curved trail that went around shrub branches instead of those big huge trees we used to believe nearly took our lives each time we slid down. I remember thinking how I wished my brothers could come help us once in a great while but that idea soon dissipated; I thought my friend and I had a secret. I did my best to imitate them and what they might do. I was such a tomboy and since it was them who I hung around with most, I learned a lot of great tricks. Boys certainly can be ingenious. ;)

Then there was my own back hill that slid right into a fence...straight down, short and sweet with the excitement of the crunch of the metal privacy slats that were woven into the chain link fence as we got to the bottom. Who could slam into that fence the hardest was the biggest thrill, no jumps, no time to pick up a ton of speed, no threat of slamming into trees...no dangers aside from getting our boot stuck under the fence.

The best hill though was the one at the middle school just across the busy road my mom always worried about us crossing. Now that was one spectacular adventure and always a treat to go to. We didn't get to go there often but when we did it was memorable. Because there were always a bunch of kids using that hill, it was well groomed for sleds and jumps were all over the place. It was a fast hill but it really sucked climbing back up. But why was it the best? Speed and the danger of getting hurt...ahhh, danger. Only a kid and maybe a young adult would put themselves in it intentionally. Hell, some adults as well...but not me, not now. I only wish I was as injury prone as they are.

As I watch these school kids have the time of their lives out in the snow and cold, images of my own snow days come flooding back. I spend most of the recess chuckling at the kid's antics and their bravery and what seems like some sort of shield around their knees and heads. These kids have no care about slamming their knees into an ice hill or diving head first off a pile. They get up, shake their heads and are off to do it again.

While I'm not much for the cold, I can't help but remember that there was a time when I loved it so much that I jumped and squealed when I would see a single snowflake. Then I would run and get some white paper, a scissors and begin the act of cutting a bunch of snowflakes thinking that by some miracle the ground would be white by the time I finished making my own. Perhaps I thought I was helping the snow along by making BIG snowflakes. LOL

I will still go outside during a snowstorm and look up to the sky and watch all the snowflakes falling and even stick my tongue out for old times sake. I can't help it, my childhood never ceases to leave my mind in many respects....finding some joy in what gave me so much joy back then does wonders for the mojo in these very cold months.

Anyway, my break from homework must end now. My last week of this block and I'm procrastinating again......

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