Saturday, January 24, 2009


Yesterday, after giving Ben (7) and Abe (3) haircuts and marveling at the quietness of our new clippers, we put Jonathan (7 mos.) to bed for a nap and the rest of us bundled up to head outside.


This bundling required the usual: snowsuits for the littles, snowpants for the olders, an old pair of jeans pulled over regular pants for me, and coats, snow boots, hats, and extra mittens for all. And it was still cold.


We trudged up the side hill with our newly-found sleds. These sleds are very valuable to us . . . after weeks of visiting every store that could possibly carry sleds, the children had been sledding on cardboard boxes covered in trash bags. We periodically checked the stores, only to be told, “We’ve been sold out… not sure if we’re getting more” over and over. It wasn’t until we ducked into a CVS (of all places!) for some eye drops that Ethan spotted some bright red plastic sleds for sale by the counter.


Where was I? Oh, yes, trudging up the hill. The children were excited. I was tired, exhausted from trying to locate everyone’s gloves and pull snow boots on and resolve issues of hats that weren’t aesthetically pleasing to their wearers. The children made it outside and down the hill once before I got out there. Ethan watched from his study and called to tell me it was a picture moment, everyone smiling broadly as they swished down together. I mumbled something about not having batteries in the camera, he said something like “all right, crabby cakes,” and I located my old jeans and wondered how much longer I had before Jon woke up and how many other things I could be doing instead.


But I went. One foot went in front of the other, and I was at the top of the hill with the children. I first took Miriam (3) and Eden (2) down and was amazed at the amount of dexterity it takes to sled. Not only do you have to avoid all boulders and trees, there’s also Papa’s study at the bottom of the hill and a sharp drop-off down to the road on the left. Ben and Lily (5) navigated this with ease, even with a sibling on each sled, but it took my entire attention to turn the sled and dig my heels in at the appropriate time. Then, when the twins decided they wanted to go down by themselves, I had to position myself in a likely spot and throw my body at them to stop them.


Sledding is not for amateurs. Or, perhaps more accurately, sledding is only for amateurs.


Anyway, no one complained about having to walk back up the hill. The children trickled back inside, one by one, as the cold eventually got to them. Abraham was the last, and he only went in because his hand was firmly grasped in mine and it was time for lunch.


Ethan fixed lunch (!!!) and the children napped hard and long.




  1. Here in Virginia, as I'm sure you remember, the sleds are much easier to come by than the snow! We bought Emily a sled for her birthday (Dec. 7), and she has taken many sled rides around our carpeted basement but none on actual snow. Well today it is snowing here, and she can't wait to get out there and ride her new sled and build a 12 inch snowman. I will try to get a picture this time and not be too grumpy about being out in the cold! Hopefully Cason will come home from work early and take over the snow duties!!

  2. Did the kid's gift make it?


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