Monday, January 08, 2018

this is what early spring feels like!

You could smell it from the first hours of the morning: the warming of the air. It's that same fragrance of snow melting into the earth that we get in spring.

Breakfast, sunny, happy.

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We have a complicated morning and a mishmash of tasks to move through, but one thing we know for sure: in the afternoon, Ed and I are taking Snowdrop out for winter play.

She is delighted to see him at pick up time. My grandma and grandpa are both here! -- she tells everyone, as if they hadn't spotted the towering frame of ahah.

I tell her we're going to go to the park with our sled and skis. She is excited: we're going skating, she reports to her best buddy. Skiing, sledding, skating -- they're variants on the same theme!

She walks Ed out.

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...and we drive to the park with the disc golf hills. But whereas yesterday, you could count on an inch of snow cover, today the south facing slopes are completely bare. It's 38F (3C) and our snow has disappeared.

You might feel frustrated: too cold last week, too warm this week. But there is hope! We're so close to our county park! Snowdrop, do you want to go see the secret pond??

We have the big sled. We have her skis. But what's truly magical about the frozen pond is that it's pristine and undisturbed. We can step out among the humbling footsteps of animals. And of course, the snow has yet to melt.

Snowdrop immediately falls into a snow angel pose. Beautiful!

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And she is thrilled to step into the skis, even as she is unprepared for the slippery nature of her first trial run. (Me too! The light dusting of snow covers a glassy sheet of ice. Keeping upright is not easy, not even for me!)

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We make progress!

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But she longs for the freedom to just move!

We switch to the sled. She is stable, but Ed takes a solid tumble!

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We make our way off the pond...

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Maybe walking is the best strategy?

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Hey, I wouldn't mind being pulled around some!
Snowdrop finds this to be hilariously funny!

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Eventually she spots a playground. I've been telling her playgrounds are closed for the winter, but today is remarkable in that it hasn't the feel of winter at all. Swing again, Snowdrop!

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The big slide? Go for it!

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You'd think that winter garb would stand in her way, but she is so deprived of outdoor cavorting that she throws herself at the climbing structure in total glee.

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Later, at home, she settles into her story telling. From one play scene to the next, she spins her tales. I come in, add a few lines, retreat, listen, come back.

We can do this for a long, long time.

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Toward evening she tells me -- I have a surprise.
Say what? A surprise?
She runs to the other room. She trips over the carpet and falls flat on her face. I hurt my nose!
Oh, I'm so sorry! I hold her. She sobs -- I was going to get the surprise and I fell!
And then in the next breath -- but I am happy now.

She goes to the other room and hauls out her "surprise" -- my yoga mat.

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We can sit on it and read these books. She hands over her selections.

Children can warm every corner of your heart.

I admit to this being a gorgeous day. Not too cold. Sunny. Absolutely gorgeous. But it doesn't take away from my fervent desire for one mighty snowfall this year... For the forts, castles and snow people we can build. For the crunch, the shimmer and the sparkle. Just one. Huge. Snowfall.

Though I will admit -- today was quite spectacular. Springlike. Beautiful.