What snow means to me:
Since I was a child, snow meant being outside until dark. When my two older sisters were babysitting I would build an igloo after school and hide in it until my mother returned from work. They would call out the door and never noticed that I was hiding right in front of them because the opening was facing the road. We would go sleigh riding down the small hill in our yard until our hands felt like they would fall off.
When my son was born I was 17. The first time it snowed he was around 3 months old. I bundled him up and took him out on the baby sleigh, it was 10 pm. My daughter was next. When she was around seven months I would place her in the carriage on the porch to get some fresh air as my mother had with my sisters and I. When my youngest daughter was born, ten years after my son, I had just started cross-country skiing. At the age of 3 months, I bundled her up and placed her in the baby sled. We attached a rope to the sled and my son, daughter and I headed out on our cross-country skis. We hadn’t gone far when another skier heading out of the park stopped and asked if I saw my baby. We turned and there she was lying sideways with snow on her little face. No damage done. We wiped her off, fixed the rope and off we went. This was years prior to my child welfare career.
Apparently there was no permanent damage to any of them because as you can see from the photos above they are all quite healthy and still loving the snow. Even my granddaughter enjoys spending time sleigh riding with us. Her first experience was at the ripe old age of 3 months as well. My older daughter would fly in from southern California just to go sleigh riding with us before she was married with a baby. Being out in the snow is invigorating, refreshing, and energizes the spirit.
Today I prefer snow shoes to cross-country skis. This is due to the snow shoes still being a novelty. Last year when my daughter and her husband were visiting from California with their three months old son we had a snow storm. My son-in-law, who did not grow up with snow, went to LL Bean and purchased a beautiful baby sled. We bundled up my grandson and took him for his first adventure in the snow. He slept the entire time. This year at 13 months, they brought him to Colorado where he enjoyed his first ride on a plastic sled down a small hill. His little face beamed all the way down.
All I can say is if you live where there is snow in the winter you may as well learn to appreciate it. Find an outdoor activity and live life to its fullest. If you don’t live where there is snow, please visit a location that experiences this beautiful white powdery mix to enjoy the pleasure. To all those communities that are thinking of making sleigh riding illegal, I say “Are you kidding me??” Let people take responsibility for themselves. You cannot legislate common sense – this is something people must learn. Do not let children sleigh ride near roads or trees. When you are recording someone sleighing down hill, don’t stand in front of their path.
To all those sleigh riders who are new to the sport there is a certain way to maintain the path. Walk to the left or right of the sled pathway. This allows for the path to form and make the ride smooth. When you walk in the pathway your boots leave gullies and break up the path. Also, by walking to the side you do not disrupt the flow. Follow the lead of those who are experienced and they will show you a great time. If you are near us, we will even share our sleds because that is what sleigh riding is all about, sharing and having fun!!
May you all learn to have fun, experience new things, and see the world through the eyes of a child – not so you are childish but so that you can remain open to the world around you and see with fresh eyes everyday.
Love and Light!