When Grandma gave James a toboggan for his 3rd birthday this past December, he sat in it and said, “Thanks for the boat, Grandma!” We had a lot of fresh snow then but not much since and if the rain comes any harder that boat might be exactly that.
Winter is a season I have cherished since I was a kid. Kids naturally love the winter and snow. As we grow older, we learn to dislike it because it doesn’t fit with our urban lives. However, when we embrace the magic of a snow day we are brought together with a quiet calm and a newfound sense of creativity. We make snowmen, forts and use the toboggan for a rush and a laugh. As a family, I find our best days are our ski days. It is a sport we can all participate in together with extended family or friends. Nobody is left on the sidelines unless they prefer the warmth of the chalet. Our conversations are relaxed on the chair lifts and I learn more about my seven year old than I ever do after school or at dinner.
It is beginning to really frighten me that my kids might not have the same experience with the snow, as I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. So today, I am passing on my positive winter vibes in hopes that I will be the old-timer skiing with my grandchildren. I am promising to do more in my own life to ensure that I am reducing my carbon footprint and have added my voice to the growing number of people who are fighting the expansion of fossil fuel emissions. I’m doing this so we can continue to ski, skate outside, toboggan at the park, and have snowball fights; all of which bring smiles to your faces.
Instead of sitting around watching the news and feeling sad for the future, I decided to be pro-active and spend some added quality time with my son. Over the next 4-8 years he may hear a lot that I don’t want him to. He may think it is reasonable to behave in certain ways that are repugnant and crude. It is the responsibility of all parents to ensure our sons do not think misogyny, bigotry and vile “locker room” conversations are not only unacceptable now but that they were not acceptable before Trump became president.
James is capable of great achievements and he can reach his goals with kindness, respect, hard work and bright dreams. This is what I hope he hears today and in the future.
James is talking and talking. He is also singing and his only voice both indoor and outdoor is LOUD. His latest song is Farmer in the Dell which he only repeats one line:
“Dog takes a wife! The dog takes a wife! Ah- O-Day-O; Dog takes a wife!
“Is that your boat?” James asked the woman in the kayak paddling by the end of the dock.
She laughs easily, “Yes, yes this is my boat.”
“Well, where are you going?” asks Emma standing in her swimsuit.
“To my cottage,” she smiles and points ahead at the island.
“Careful. Boat dangerous. Careful.” says James.
“Ok, I will be careful, thank you,” she laughs again.
“Bye!” shouts James.
“Bye!” she says and paddles on.