Getting outside has become a twice daily chore. While there are (occurring rarely and celebrated grandly) occasions where snow clothes are welcomed, mostly the idea of, “Let’s bundle!”, has been met with groans and protests. When this happens, at first I feel determined optimism. I sing songs coaxing them towards the piles of snow clothes I have placed out for each boy. I try to keep it light. I slip on my own gear. I smile. And smile and smile. And then I begin to plead. I bribe. I promise grand snowmen and fast trips on toboggans. They insist they are too busy or they are hungry. I bundle up Jasper, who of course begins to wail. I insist. They drag their feet. I scrunch my lips and eyebrows and demand. They run away. I distract them while I slide their feet into snow suits. This works briefly, but then they escape again. I wave my arms. I whine. I occasionally tear up telling them how much I need to have the cold air touch my throat. And finally, finally they submit. It’s loud and frustrating I would say a good 50 percent of the time. It drives me bonkers that it comes to such a low, pathetic, plead to make a march around the outdoors happen. I need a new method, a mindset, a mantra. Something, anything that will make that transition happen. Because despite the frigid temperatures, we all need it. We all crave it. The cabin fever is setting into my soul and when the sun shines, my instincts point to the front door.
Of course, we all end up having a good time, most of the time. We shoot the bow and arrow. We pull the sled in the shape of our names, so all the cars can see. We lie in the cold fluff and look at the shiny sky. It is worth it. Even when it is met with a groan. If for nothing other than vitamin d and a change of scenery.
And when we come back in they are extremely busy, just as they promised. A week ago or so, I boxed up almost all of our toys to be donated or given away and miraculously they are yet to notice! The sun still shines through our windows and when my skin hurts for the fresh air I can always take a lap with just the littlest bundle. But, I won’t give up. The season has turned, the days are a bit longer, and there is something in the air that says, hold on hold on… there has been a shift of the earth. The tilt towards the sun is solid in my limbs. Spring will come. And snow clothes will be packed up, and when I stare at the green earth I will hardly believe it could have ever been so stark and full of silhouettes.