My kids had the last three days off, and the forecasted "high" temperatures hovered around zero...on the warmest day!
I spent much of the first part of the weekend reading with them, reading to them, playing board games, dolls, school, and even had a "Spa" set up for the full works of pampering.
However, all of these activities merely brought us to Saturday night! From then on, my children decided that the living space would be better served as a wrestling ring, or that our floors were "lava", and that they needed to do everything in their power to walk across and climb on all furniture to avoid stepping on it.
I won't even mention the number of Legos, slivers of cardboard from their "art" creations, and random socks strewn throughout the house either....
It was time.
There comes a time when you have to decide whether you want to continue to search for "inside" activities for the family to enjoy, or whether it is in the best interests of both you and your children to send them outside on a cold day. I, for one, was always concerned about frostbite on my little ones. Don't get me wrong, I still am, but this weekend I chose to teach my children how important it is to layer and bundle. I chose to teach them how to listen to their own bodies to decide when enough was enough of being outside. I chose to empower my children to read themselves, to read their environment, and to practice responsible adventuring.
Needless to say, my kids were out for over an hour. They made designs in the soft powdery whiteness in our backyard. They traced tracks around and across the perimeter of our yard to play tag on, and even tasted handfuls of - thoroughly checked - frozen goodness when they were thirsty. When my youngest came in, she reported that it wasn't the cold that forced her in, but the fact that she was left out of a football game which started as soon as the neighbor boy came to play. My oldest, who is normally the one to retreat to his warm cave rather quickly, spent the majority of the day outside. He played football and boot hockey, and was asked to come in when our family was ready for dinner.
There comes a time when we must realize that winter provides an untapped serenity and beauty for those of us ready to discover it.