2013-02-14 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Kids bring out winter’s one redeeming quality I


Gary Gould — Managing Editor Gary Gould — Managing Editor am not fond of winter. In fact, I really have come to loathe winter weather as I’ve gotten older. The last time I wrote about hating snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures, I was told by some readers I was missing out on all the things they enjoyed about winter, like snowmobiling, ice hockey, skiing and ice fishing.

Some readers even suggested I move some place warm if I didn’t like it here in the winter.

Well, I decided to stick it out, because deep down I know winter has one redeeming quality for me – kids love it.

The only time I ever really liked winter was as a child. I loved playing in the snow, having snowball fights, sledding and building snow forts. So seeing my own kids enjoy the snow is still something I enjoy.

I took my son, Sam, sledding this past weekend and watched him have the time of his life zipping down the frozen hill. It was a bright and sunny day, cold but not too frigid. The sun was sparkling off the winter landscape and the frost covered trees as we scaled the hill and looked around at our surroundings.

Sam was quick to find a slope down the hill which looked fast. He was on his way down no sooner than reaching the top. His cheers and laugher made it clear to me this was the perfect afternoon activity for an energetic 9-year-old.

After a few trips down the hill, Sam decided it was time to add some obstacles to his route. See, simply sliding down a hill fast isn’t enough for my daredevil; he has to put his own twist into everything.

He opted for aiming his sled at a snow ramp someone built at the bottom of the hill. Jumping on his sled he rushed down the hill, his sled hitting the ramp and propelling him into the air with a solid bounce. When he hit the ground on the other side, all I could hear was an “umph!” followed by “that was awesome!”

Next to me atop the hill, a young parent was watching mine hit the ramp below. He was quiet a minute and then when his own child, close in age to Sam, asked if she could try the ramp, he replied: “No, we don’t need to go to the emergency room today.”

Seriously? It was a little ramp. It wasn’t like a ramp

Tony Hawk would jump on his skateboard. Heck, I’ve watched my oldest wrap herself around a tree while sledding before and she came back up the hill with just a couple tears, no worse for wear (she was strongly advised, however, NOT to sled toward the tree line in the future).

The ramp kept his interest for all of about a half hour. As I continued to breathe in the fresh winter air and soaked up the sunshine, I realized it was time to call it a day when Sam decided to take up the danger level a notch and he rode his sled down a long flight of wooden stairs which traversed one side of the hill.

Yes, it’s all fun until someone decides to take a face-plant on a wooden railroad tie. Seeing the potential injury from that, we wrapped up and went home. But after the next big snowfall I hope to have him back out on the slopes again. ggould@mihomepaper.com

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