Celebrating Snow: A reminder from my kids

Carleen Hanson, MD

Dr. Hanson, Pediatrician, Meriter West Washington

I think we’d all agree that prior to the snowfall last week, it hasn’t seemed much like a Wisconsin winter … and while I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the melting, muddy slush on the floors and the added complexity the layers of winter clothes add to my family’s morning routine, there was a small part (a very tiny part actually) of me that celebrated the thick layer of snow that recently arrived. My kids, on the other hand, were thoroughly ecstatic.

My son walked down the stairs, got a peek of the snow out the window, and started yelling “Mom! Dad! Guess what? It’s snowing!” He then ran back up the stairs to wake his sister up to share in his excitement. I frankly was happy he was waking her up early, since I knew we’d need the extra time not only to get out the door with boots, hats and mittens on everyone, but also to drive to where we all needed to go. I went through the morning with a little bit of dread about the drive to school and work, but my kids were so happy about the snow, that I tried to absorb a little of their glee.

They had some valid points – the snow did look pretty falling down and covering the ugly, brown grass…and yes, now there were things they could do outside that they couldn’t do before (hard to go sledding or build a snowman family without the snow).

As I walked my daughter up to her school the next morning, I noticed that while I was purposely trying to stay on the sidewalk to avoid getting too snowy, she was intentionally walking OFF the sidewalk in the snowdrifts – despite the extra effort it took – but she had the biggest smile on her face. When I asked her why, she said that she walks on the sidewalk all the time, but it was fun and different to walk in the snow. Then she asked me why I wasn’t walking in the snow, and I could tell that she thought my answer of keeping my work pants dry wasn’t a good reason. I gave her a hug and kiss goodbye, and as I thought about her smile and exuberance on my way back to my car, I found myself drifting off the sidewalk into the snow … just for fun.

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