Why I live anywhere other than Hawai’i, I’ll never understand. There’s no snow in Hawai’i. Well, except every once in a while up on Mauna Kea, but that doesn’t really count because it wouldn’t be my job to shovel it. I hate snow. Snow has about the same chance of me suddenly taking a liking to it as a mackerel in a barrel with Annie Oakley lining up a shot with her lucky bazooka. Which is the reason I magically transformed into a whiny little girl today when my family brought up the subject of going sledding.
Me: (whining pathetically) “But it’s too cold. There’s not enough snow. The sled hill is probably closed. My gloves are too thin. My snow boots are too old. I’m too old. I have to wait for the mail. I stubbed my big toe last week and am still too injured to go sledding. Doctor’s orders.”
My family: (sighing in exasperation – yes, even the 2-year-old) “Whatever. Get your coat and let’s go.”
I didn’t exactly cry on the way out to our community’s sled hill. Not really. You can’t prove anything.
At one point during the short drive, my husband glanced over at me and asked, “Didn’t you ever go sledding as a kid?” To which I replied, “Either I did and the event was somehow so horribly traumatic that my subconscious purged it from my memory as a defense mechanism, or no, I’ve never been sledding. I hate snow.”
After giving me a brief look which communicated a smidgen of sympathy and a whole lot more of something along the lines of “Pffft – what a weirdo,” my husband parked our car and began the arduous task of extracting our children and sleds. I still wasn’t crying.
My husband, 7-year-old son, and 2-year-old daughter excitedly gamboled toward the smaller of the two hills, while I trudged behind desperately seeking a legitimate excuse to wait in the car. Upon reaching the summit, I was shocked to discover that I wasn’t even slightly out of breath, unlike 2 years and 50 additional pounds ago which was the last time I was forced to endure the torture of sledding.
At that moment, I experienced an unexpected shift in my perspective. Almost overwhelmed by the rush of sudden comprehension, I was finally able to truly see the unbridled elation and delight sledding brought to my family. Their joyous laughter and excited screeches infused me with a lighthearted and childlike contentment and reduced my entire universe to that moment on that hill with the sudden knowledge that I was physically able to be a participant in their sledding adventure for the very first time.
After sledding for almost two hours down every hill available to us a seemingly infinite number of times, we were finally exhausted enough to head for home as fog began to silently creep over the sled hill and surrounding area. I still hate snow and want to live in Hawai’i, but now maybe I won’t whine quite so much the next time my family wants to hit the snow hill. I might not even cry. Well, unless I have a hangnail or something. Then all bets are off.