Look at this irritating little alarm that keeps showing up in my car:
I know, Rogue! It is November in Upstate New York! You don’t need to keep reminding me that it is cold outside! My house is so old that I have to travel outside of my house just to get into you! So stop rubbing it in like you’re going to do something different besides just complaining as we drive around together.
To the best of my recollection, this alarm doesn’t show up every damn day from December through February, so I guess the car’s in a period of adjustment. Which I totally get. I am, too. Somehow the cold feels worse at the beginning of winter, at least for me. I resent that it’s no longer comfortable to walk around barefoot. I check the thermostat as the radiators fight valiantly against treacherous winds. I pile on scarves just to walk around the house, then pout when they unwind and land in the dishes I’m washing. Late autumn-early winter just isn’t my favorite.
For a little while, at least, I’d gotten pretty damn good at winter. We’d take the girls to Union’s Messa Rink on Saturday mornings to ice skate and on day trips to ski resorts. There was a sweet spot during their elementary school years when we really embraced winter, and we loved it. The secret to liking winter, I’d discovered, was to grow a love of winter sports. Then it almost felt sad when the snow finally melted in March. It really, really worked, which meant that I had to proselytize with my Embrace the Winter article on KidsOutAndAbout in which I tried to get everyone on board with making the most of the cold weather.
And then, things changed. Somewhere along the way, we got too busy with the girls’ other sports to indulge in the casual family outings we used to enjoy together. Most weekends we have at least one major sporting event and some weekends we have multiple conflicting events that involve travel. And they are very, very fun, yes, but you can’t go skiing if you’re already doing a track meet or a soccer or volleyball tournament. And when the weekends are as booked as ours are (I just checked, and our next entirely free weekend is in February), then any time you’ve got a free day, there’s homework for the girls to catch up on and household tasks that have piled up over the busy weekends. Last year Cute W and I never skied once, and it’s been literally years since I’ve put on ice skates. The problem with losing skiing/skating/sledding fun is that all that you’re left with is the cold and driving in the snow. Yes, I’m sure that the girls will appreciate a snow day, and when we have that first soft snow that coats the branches, I’ll sigh admiringly over our picturesque little neighborhood. But in general, winter’s stock is way down in our house. Now, could someone please brew me up some tea? I don’t want to get out from under this blanket.