Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Worst Winter Weather Makes us better Parents

My cat and my dog both love the snow. It seems to bring out their ebulient spirit but it's not just our pets that enjoy the snow. It also has a strong draw for the playful spirit inside our normally sedate selves.

I must confess that I do love the snow. It's bright and beautiful. It reflects the light and cheers the heart. In the evening it catches the moonlight and reflects it across the land as moonglow.

It's also a great material to touch and handle. To play with and sculpt into comical shapes but most of all I like the snow because it brings families together, in play.

Can you remember your joy as a child when you saw the first snow of winter? This winter, did you recall those feelings again, when you saw the snow fall? I did and I always do.

When the first snow fell here, the streets were strangely quiet, at least until the kids got home from school and then the whole neighbourhood came to life. Children started laughing and playing harmlessly together, throwing snowballs, drawing shapes and making snowmen in the snow.

They continued throwing snow at each other and generally running about, slipping, sliding, falling, laughing and fooling around, and all without concern about hurting themselves or their friends. This was a primeval event, a simple and spontaneous phenomenon; free flowing, uninhibited play that so rarely occurs in the absence of snow.

Suddenly, before we knew where we were, the startled children were promptly joined by the adults, unable to resist the allure of this fun. Within a few moments, parents and children were all playing together in a marvellous, inventive and joyful manner.

The other free flow of family playtime similar to this, is the fun that can be had in the soft sand of a sun-kissed beach in the summer, or when we are swimming at the ocean's edge. It may be similar but it's not the same. The adults are always more inhibited and withdrawn on the beach.

Perhaps, running around unclad on the beach makes it more difficult to be spontaneous and uninhibited. Is it so much more difficult to frolick about in soft sand than snow? Apparently yes!

Whatever the reason, I will continue to celebrate the coming of the snow as the bringer of fun and playfulness to families. Enjoy!

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