Family life

The winter that wasn't

Although she's no big fan of winter, Tracy misses the fun of snowy days on her daughters' behalf

By Tracy Chappell
The winter that wasn't

On Sunday, we spent a big chunk of time playing hockey in the driveway. Sure, with the no-snow winter we’ve had, we could have been doing this anytime, but on Sunday it was in the sunshine. Without coats. Avery wore her Crocs.
The girls also stayed in the backyard (muddy as it was) for a long time afterward, playing nicely, swinging and climbing on the swing set, just hanging out while we got dinner organized. It reminded me of a season I’m particularly fond of: summer. It made me think back to those lazy, breezy afternoons that we could gobble up doing a whole lot of nothing — wandering the neighbourhood, biking, chatting with neighbours in the front yard, “painting” the playhouse with buckets of water and brushes — with the patio door open and the kids running in and out at will.
How bizarre that I then had to come in and make sure the girls’ snowpants were washed for tomorrow. Because, as much as we’re supposed to be having a wonderfully mild week, it is still winter and they’ll need something to protect them from the elements (especially all the mud) tomorrow at school.
I’m no winter lover. Sure, the first flakes are pretty, but if I could close my eyes at the first dumping of the white stuff and open them again in the spring, I would. At least, if I didn’t have kids.
But I have to admit, I feel ripped off on behalf of Anna and Avery for our winter that wasn’t. In our area, we barely got snow at all — I think we shovelled our driveway twice. During one of those snowfalls we went tobogganing and I’m so grateful that we seized that moment because it was pretty much the only chance my girls had to whiz down the hills with reckless abandon. Who knew? We never had enough of the right kind of snow to build a snowman or make a fort. I’ll admit — these are activities Sean would take the lead on, but even I was missing the chance to do any of it. And winter without snow, even a mild winter, is a chilly, grey, dreary bummer all around.
So as much as I could do without snow, I sincerely hope that my kids don’t have to. Anna has been pretty incensed by the whole thing, but Avery is indifferent. I realized that, at three, she might not recall fun in the snow like Anna does at age six. Can you imagine our kids, like those who live in hot climates, never knowing the joy of choosing the perfect scarf for their snowman or catching flakes on their tongues?

Maybe I've jinxed us now and we'll get some blizzard. Even I would welcome it at this point, because it is March, and even if the snow decides to make another appearance, it won't stick around for long. One thing's for sure: We'd be the first ones out there, making the biggest, most fabulous snowman on our street. And I'd take lots and lots of pictures so we'd never forget the fun of winter.

This article was originally published on Mar 13, 2012

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