This was the first year that both my boys were able to get out and really enjoy a big snow. Last year, Luke was only a year old and still wary of the cold wet white stuff. I remember carrying him around a lot. This year, both of them were troopers out there, tromping around, despite sinking up to their waist in some of the 30 inch drifts. I was so excited to finally go sledding with them both!
Like the highly prepared and organized mother that I am, I went out the day before the snow storm to find some appropriate sleds. As luck would have it, my sister and her family were visiting from California and got snowed in with us for the weekend. I wanted to make sure we had enough sleds for my kids and her two teenagers to all go sledding together. Come to find out, sleds are hard to find the day before a record-breaking blizzard…who knew?
After some humorous phone-calls to all the typical sled-carrying stores such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Toys R Us, we decided on a trip to Five Below and a pool supply store where we stocked up on some inflatable inner-tubes and flimsy sleds. We also had a couple of big sleds from winter’s past that we added to the mix. We were ready to hit the hills! The problem was the snow would stop, well, snowing.
The morning after the blizzard finally ceased, my boys were crazy excited to get out there. It was 7 a.m. and my 2-year-old, Luke, already had on his snow boots. I convinced them to have breakfast first, then, after a sweat-inducing workout of getting snow gear on two squirmy toddlers, we grabbed our sleds and headed outside.
My dear husband had been working hard throughout the blizzard to keep a path shoveled from our door to our backyard and one to his truck, which he used to plow our long driveway and our company’s parking lot. (Side note: snow days are no fun when you’re a grown-up.) But once we got off the path and into the fresh snow, it all went downhill and not in a fun way.
It was just too much snow for my little guys to get around in! It was still fresh and fluffy, not packing at all, so they just sunk in it. We made it down our big hill once on a tube, but after I had to lug both boys and the sled back up the hill, I was questioning my cardiac vitality. They were so disappointed because they weren’t able to make snow balls or a snowman. We called it quits for the day.
The following day was a different story. The sun had melted the top layer of snow, which made it much better for packing down as we walked on it, and perfect for snowmen and snowball fights. The sun was shining, the temperatures were in the comfortable 40’s. My boys and I spent all day out making snow angels, sledding down every hill we could find, and pelting their cousins with snowballs.
The sledding was amazing. The inner-tubes were great for our little guys who would fly down the hills on them. We only had one accident when my oldest son, James, went down on his own, eyes closed, and flew smack into a tree. Luckily he wasn’t hurt, but he spent the rest of the day yelling at all of us to “watch out for trees!” He learned quickly the fine art of “bailing out” of the sled.
I have such fond memories of playing in the snow as a kid, and I loved getting to create those memories this year with my own children and niece and nephew. Funny how as a kid, I never noticed how exhausted my parents looked at the end of the day.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.