I've been determined for a while to take the family on a trip to the snow. It was perhaps a bit foolish, as cold, wet conditions can be absolutely miserable for little ones. But Laurel (who is no great fan of snow herself) rallied big time, and we kicked off the new year with a last-minute road-trip to the mountains.
As expected, the kids' first foray into the white was a mix of excitement and tears: the thrill of saucer and toboggan rides was promptly pierced by the discomfort of snow-stuffed boots and sleeves. An outing on Day 2 to a snow park for kids lasted all of about 15 minutes. By the second sled run, Julia was as miserable as she's ever been.
I was extremely frustrated and disappointed, as I had wanted desperately for this to be a positive experience for everyone. Laurel, to her credit, managed best to maintain good spirits as we piled back into the car for the long drive home.
On the way, having already peeled the outer layers of winter garb from the kids, I decided we should give it one more try. I spotted a good place to pull off the road near an open meadow of soft, fresh snow. We re-bundled the kids and ventured out one more time.
Andrew was a good sport, but it's just plain tough for a two year old to stay comfortable for long in the snow.
Julia on the other hand, who an hour earlier I feared would have an ineradicable dread of snow, was having the time of her life. While Laurel and Andrew waited patiently in the car for about half an hour, Julia and I made a snow man, had a snowball fight, made snow angels, had "swim lessons," went hunting for Christmas trees, and on and on. "No, no, no, not yet!" she pled every time I suggested we start making our way back to the car.
The doubts I had about the "success" of the trip were erased. Julia can't wait to go back again. Things will be much easier for Andrew in a year or so. Laurel discovered that snow can in fact be fun. And I got myself a little mountain "fix."