I don't think I ever had the idea that my kids would be mini-Me's. And while they certainly possess traits that I recognize in either myself or Jamie, more often than not they prove themselves to be distinct individuals.
As she was riding down the hill in her sled, Kendall proved to be quite the snow bunny. She lifted her hands in the air, raised her head to the sky and screamed: "Woooo hooooo!" Then I looked to Conor. He was on his back, his eyes were closed, and his mouth was wide open. He looked to be in heaven. It made being out in the cold not so frosty----if only for a moment. And I thought, are these kids really mine? So, I sat my cold body down in the snow and tried to remember when it was that I enjoyed the snow.
Yesterday was cold. I think the high was 17. Now, I'm sure there are folks who deal with that all the time, and they likely think I'm a super wimp. But you know what, I don't live in Chicago, Alaska, or way up in the mountains. There's a simple reason for that---I can't stand being cold. In fact, there's nothing I detest more. That wasn't always the case. I suppose it's an indicator that I'm growing old---that the things I used to handle in stride, I just don't or refuse to deal with any longer.
I recall getting into my gear as a kid---no real gear, that is, and staying out in the cold for hours. And no I don't think this was a figment of my imagination. I am certain we got up on 2 hour school delays and played outside for a bit BEFORE going to school. Maybe we were odd kids, but I don't think so.
On full on snow days we would wear the most ridiculous assortment of clothing. I recall being jealous of my neighbor who had a snow suit. The irony is she never stayed out that long---and I always thought that odd given that she had the super warm snow suit, after all. Instead, I wore at least two pairs of jeans/pants after putting thermal underwear on first. Then we'd push two or three pairs of socks on, and sweatshirts, and t-shirt layers so that our jackets were almost bursting at the seams. Once we were bundled up we'd journey all around the neighborhood looking for sledding opportunities. I remember sledding with my dad on some legendary (in our mind) runs that we set up throughout the front yard. The best year was the one when we had enough snow such that we piled it up across the ditch (to create a bridge of sorts), zoomed across the street and then down the hill on the other side. It was only the next spring that we discovered we'd killed the grass on both our hill and the neighbors.
In those days I was impervious to the cold---not that I didn't get ridiculously cold. I loved coming in and sitting right atop the heating vent, or next to the fire (the two or three times a year we actually had a fire in the fireplace), burning my tongue on the hot chocolate I just couldn't wait to sip. But, being cold never stopped me from venturing outside, again and again. The magic of snow was too much of a draw.
Today as I pushed the kids down the mini hill near our home, I reveled in their delight. They both took "naps" in the snow; they buried themselves the way they would in sand; threw snowballs at one another and me; and of course ate handfuls and handfuls of snow. Even when crashing off the sled, there were just a few moments of "I'm frozen, MOM!"
But after the initial shock or cold wore off it was back to the hill for one more run.