Brrrr, It’s cold out there, the wind chill nibbling on my face with a million ice spiked teeth at minus two degrees as I got back inside and threw down two sledges in front of my boys Noah and Milo.
They had a look in their eyes of you can’t stop me and I was glad.
When they first looked out the window that morning they didn’t see frostbite, runny noses or frozen toes but instead a Narnia fluffed up in virgin snow with houses draped in vanilla smoothies and snow hippo cars resting peacefully.
We stepped outside with every breath visible and you would think that I had given my boys a charter to explore a new world armed with their sledges.
Duffled up, my wife and I trundled of pulling the boys behind whilst they kept looking over their shoulders wondering if fawns,lions and the wicked Snow Queen would come around the corner.(we’ve been reading too much CS Lewis recently).
I loved how the snow muffled the drone of traffic, the city, the IPhones, the deadlines and all I could hear was crunch,crunch,giggle,giggle, crunch, huffle puff. I was mesmerized by the white waltz of snowflakes doing swan lake and trees sugared on a white weave tapestry with a gathering storm being performed by the clouds in the background. Nestled in the detail, frozen gossamer like threads dangled encrusted pearls of ice that trapped the last speck of light.
I said to my eldest Noah (6 years old) , Isn’t this pretty, to which he said ‘It is like a blank page ready to be scribbled on, Daddy”.
This is why I love bringing my family out into the wild outdoors, even if it is only a couple of hundred yards down the road next to the city.Here they find adventure, here they find stories and poetry, here….they find all sorts of things to do like meet their friends on the small little hill which to them is a snow park in the Alps and engage in a snowstorm fight of children against the adults, which at that moment swept in like no weather warning could prepare you for.
There were boys and girls rolling around like snow boulders, all out blitz ambush attacks on the pringle jumper wearing adults, white sparks flying from under sledges, snow balls and snow clods fizzing like moon fire and adults ending up like big cream cakes (so you can guess who won).And oh yeah I should mention the adult who went hurtling down the slope wedged into a saucepan and nearly ending up in the floods with the wildlife, (funniest thing I have seen in ages).
But I have to say to anyone who wonders why I would bring my family out into the snow where, yes, they do get cold and wet, but I have never seen my boys more alive, than when they are in the outdoors. I have never seen them this alive inside our warm, double insulated, double glazed, centrally heated house playing Mario or watching the big screen.
It was nice however to go back to that aforementioned house with all our friends afterwards for some of Pips (my wife) warm pancakes , maple syrup, bacon,coffee and hot chocolate.