Thursday, January 19, 2012
Ever since the holidays and the beginning of our cold days of winter, we in Cohort 4 have been talking about the possibility of snow. Today our dreams came true. The only unfortunate part is that Oregon snow is almost always of the slushy variety, especially on a day like today when there were a few inches of snow on the ground while a heavy rain fell.
The boys were quite excited to go outside and explore the yard in it's mostly slushy state. GW shuffled across our asphalt patch with me, sliding his boots and making 'tracks'. This goes back to our new mild obession with all things trains. We talked about the snow and how it was melting into slush in the rain when SC joined us. We continued shuffling back and forth and GW started to chant 'slush! slush!'.
After a while I showed the boys the mechanics of building a snow man. I realized after I started the project that I had a very certain way that I wanted it to be built. I felt a bit silly when I stopped the boys from trying to knock it down, which was their first choice after I showed them how I stack the balls to make the snowman's body. Making a snow man is not very processed based because I had a very specific idea of what I wanted it to be. SC was very interested in helping me decorate the three stacked snow balls, but GW and T had much more fun wacking it with sticks. I had to take a breath and step back. I really wanted a snow man for them to be proud of, I told myself, but what their bodies really wanted right now was to move the snow around with sticks. So why wouldn't a big tower of snow be anything else besides something to bonk and knock down?
It was time to let go. I gave them the idea and the shape of snowman-ness and then let go. It's almost the hardest thing for an adult to do, I have found, but the benefits from acknowledging this moment as what it is instead of what I wanted it to be gave everyone the freedom to enjoy the moment. From that moment on fun was the primary focus and the exploration of the snow. There was puddle stomping and 'fishing' with long sticks under the tree where the snow had already melted. Lots of scooping and pushing of snow off of the stumps in the front yard. Soon our hands were ice cube like and we hurried inside.