Monday, January 7, 2013

The Park? Really?

January 6

It is Sunday and again, cold, cold, cold. There is a thick sheet of ice on the water table outside. That is my way of judging the temperature. Is there ice? If yes, how thick? It has become a morning ritual for my girls to look outside at the water table on the deck and see if there is ice or not. Many mornings they go out in fluffy slippers and robes to break the ice with fingers or sticks. This morning there are big sheets of ice to break and toss. They explode into tiny ice fragments as they hit the deck. If I didn't know better I'd think there was a broken windshield out there.

Today I am more proactive about getting outside. "After lunch we are going to the park," I announce. "The park? Really?" says my husband. "Don't you think it's too cold?" (Yes!!! Yes! I think to myself) but I answer, "We'll go to the closest one and we only have to stay for 15 minutes." I get a nod and he goes back to peeling potatoes. I love it when he gets inspired to make Sunday lunch!

Birds nest spotted high above
We make it to the park in the afternoon and yes, it is cold but I'm starting to realize- it doesn't matter. My kids LOVE being outside. They aren't cold, they are bundled up and they are running, jumping, climbing and shouting. I think the joyful shouting is one of my favorite parts of our new outdoor time. They can be loud, they can squeal and sing and screech and it sounds wonderful. I'm not asking for an inside voice or saying my ears are tired, please, please stop. . . Nope, now I love their joyful noise. And I make up crazy monster faces while we chase around the playground, just to hear them screech more.

When their hands get too cold from holding the bars and the swing chains we go for a little walk around the park. I need to make those rice filled, heart shaped, hand warmers I saw on Pinterest I think . . . but I digress. As we walk we notice things big and small. "Here's a lady bug!" shouts my first grader. I think, isn't he cold, I thought they'd be hibernating or something. Mental note: look up how ladybugs survive the winter. My little one always attuned to the sky spots a bird's nest high in a tree. We look around and can see five nests in the trees above us! What fun it will be to know they are there when we are here in the spring and can here the chirping of newly hatched chicks.

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