Who needs snow to sled?


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Sledding in 2014 – Check!

The other day when it hit 50 degrees and I walked down the street watching the snow and ice melt into a muddy mess, a thought came to mind.  It was January and we had not gone sledding yet.  Maybe that wasn’t too strange since there are two more months of Winter but with all of the snow we have had in the last month and a half, I worry that there will be little to snow coming in the future (or there will be snow but it will be -15 degrees outside).

On Saturday night, we did a switch-a-roo with Patrick and Carrie. They took Mario and we took Alana for the night. When Mario came home Sunday morning, and trekked snow in the house, it hit me. “Let’s try to go sledding!” (it also hit me that he needs to learn to take his boots off, but that’s another post). There is only one decent sledding hill around us. It’s a small but steep hill at Wyman Woods. And it’s usually pure dirt if you get there after 10 am because everyone goes there.

It was 10:30. Was it worth a try?

A unanimous “Yes” from us all so we jumped in our snow suits and went for it. We parked a block away thinking there would be no parking. We drug the plastic sleds over the sidewalk and crossed the street. The kids ran towards the hill.

“It has some snow, mom! And there is no one here!” 

They were being generous but at that point, it could have been all dirt and we would have tried it. It’s at those moments that I appreciate my pops. If there’s one other person on this earth who would have plunged into that hill with all his might no matter the lack of snow, it’s my dad. He taught me to how to go with what ya got and make the most fun of it. So the hill barely has any snow left on it, deal with it…. So the hill has bumps all over it that could break your back, big deal…. So there isn’t any other sane folks out here sledding, more fun for us!  I could hear his voice like he was standing right next to me (after all, this is the man that hitched a plastic baby pool to the back of his four-wheeler and drug Ri all around when they got a snowfall at the farm).
So, when the kids turned to me waiting to see what I’d say about sledding, my response was a loud roar proclaiming: “Let’s do this!”

And “do this” we did. Ri went down first and I thought her head may pop off. With each bump she hit, you could see her bottom rise up and her head jerk.

But she has that Menkedick insanity in her and kept going back for more (including a ride down with me where I was convinced that my tailbone cracked). Mario loved it, too. He accidentally conquered an ice ramp that I am sure some nutty teen built.  I started him off a good twenty feet from it at the top of the hill but he swerved right towards it as he flew down the hill.  Ri and I looked at each other in fear and before we could blink, he hit it right on and flew into the air at least three feet.  He jettisoned back to the ground with a crash of plastic and rode out the rest of the ride until he landed 50 feet away from the ramp.  We waited and cringed waiting for a giant wail. But all we saw was a little guy rising from his plastic sled and walking towards us.

“Are you ok, darlin'” I yelled to him.

“That was awesome!  I can’t believe I hit it!”  

To be six years old.

I remember times at French Park with my dad.  I remember having a bit more fear in my heart when I sled down those park hills – they were ginormous to me (I wonder what they’d look like today?).  I remember laughing a lot and having a wonderful time.  And I remember my dad jumping on his sled and braving the hills with me.  I am glad I can do the same with my kiddos.

At the end of our adventure, after we were all banged up and our tailbones were aching, I looked over at my kids and quoted one of Mario’s favorite lines from Ghostbusters: “we came, we saw, we kicked its butt” (I had to be appropriate with my language – even though Mario corrected me and said “no, mom, it’s a–!”)!”

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