For one who grew up in Canada, I'm not so big on winter. Not only is it terrifying (to one afraid of slipping, falling, accelerating, frostbite, hypothermia) it is also hugely inconvenient. To spend 20 minutes stuffing children into snowsuits, boots, mittens, hats for my 3-yr old to say upon stepping outside "MY FACE IS COLD!!!" makes the thought of popping in another DVD and baking cookies hugely appealing.
But tonight, when we heard some friends were out playing on the frozen pond near our house, and both girls, in a rare moment of wanting the same thing at the same time begged "PLEEEASE Mom, can we go?" I, being me, thought "IT'SALMOSTDARKWHATIFTHEYFALLTHROUGHTHEICEWHATIFTHEROPEONTHESLEDBREAKSWHATIFI'MNOTSTRONGENOUGHTOPULLTHEMTHROUGHTHEWOODSTHISCOULDBEADISASTER" and then did something completely unlike me. I said "OK, I'll get the flashlight."
The last time we went sledding I rolled off the sled and fell knee deep through the ice into a swamp. Such is my luck. I had sworn I was going to keep our kids away from this pond even though our village had inspected the ice and given the green light for skating. But there's something about twilight on Friday after a long week that makes you want to make someone's wishes come true.
So off we went, through the woods, me pulling the girls on the sled. The girls, usually squabbling, delirious with delight, swishing through the snow. Meeting up with our friends at twilight, a friend's child skating for the first time, my own marveling "WE'RE WALKING ON THE POND! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?" Shining the flashlight to try to see through the ice.
On the way back, it's almost dark. I feel like a hero, taking my daughters on this ride, hearing their happiness behind me and breathing it in with the cold night air. Laughing all the way.