16 February 2010

Snow Day

One of the most interesting things about parenthood is the way it can remind you of parts of your life that you have totally forgotten about. For instance, how much fun is sledding?

Of course I had not engaged in this winter season ritual for well over a decade or more. But with the epic recent snowfall that has marked the beginning of 2010 in the Midwest and elsewhere, my wife and I decided to take our son sledding. We bundled him up in his winter attire, so that he resembled Ralphie in A Christmas Story ("I can't put my arms down!") and ventured out to the local park. The designated sledding hill proved far too steep for a first-timer, unfortunately. But we found some alternative rises in the landscape and had at it.

Obviously, our son is still too small to go downhill all by himself, still not coordinated enough to maneuver the sled on his own. So my wife and I took turns riding down the hill with him. And it's a bit of a toss-up as to who enjoyed themselves more on that day, him or us.

No, wait, on second thought, it's no contest. It was definitely us.

And in a weird way, it was almost more fun this time than it ever was when I did it as a kid. Having a kid gives you a chance to experience things as if for the first time all over again. Witnessing a simple activity like sledding through his eyes makes it feel as if it's brand-new, even if you've done it countless times before.

The wonder he expresses at the sight of snow, the thrill in his eyes as he careens down the hill, these actually make me feel like I've never even seen a sled before. His reaction was curious, for someone who frequently smiles and giggles, I mean collapses in absolute hysterics, he spent the entire outing with an extremely serious expression on his face. But each time we came to a halt at the bottom of a hill, he'd quietly utter the words we've come to know so well: "More, more." And so we'd do it again. And again. And again. And then when it was time to go, he whined. He pleaded. He pouted. Turns out, he liked sledding, after all. He'd discovered something new, something fun. Something different.

And so did I. It seems sledding is way more fun the second time around. More, more, indeed.

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