Allow me to give you some background: I was born and raised in the Yukon. I know all about snow. I have walked in it, I have waded through it when it was hip deep. I have shoveled it, I have skidooed through it, I have played vigorous games wherein one person "washes" another (unsuspecting) person's face with it. As a teenager, I ran with friends through foresty hometown shortcuts when it had been snowing long enough to accumulate on the trees, and used my fist and forearm to whack tree trunks as I ran by, leaving my friends to get caught in the mini-avalanches behind me as snow slid off heavily laden branches.
I know from snow, and I spent twenty years in the territory, enduring it more months of the year than not.
I do not like snow.
When we go to Whistler, I get a pedicure while HWSNBN hits the slopes. I have tried skiing, and I was so bad at it I got pity lessons from an instructor on his day off when I was sixteen. He was French, and even though skiing sounds more charming in French (chasse-neige!), I still can't do it without both physical and emotional scarring. I have tried snowboarding, but I was so bad at that, that by the end of the day I was manipulating my falling body to land on my chest on purpose because it was the only part of me not bruised into agonized submission. I have cross country skied (I was not good at that either), and I have snowshoed (none of your fancy city snowshoes, either, mine were bent wood and animal parts and moose-hide laces).
I especially don't like snow in Vancouver, because almost no one knows how to drive in it, and a few inches of the white stuff can lead to some pretty spectacular clusterfucks on my city's streets.
So when I looked out the window at 7:00 this morning to see snow falling past our 21st floor windows, I was decidedly not amused.
I woke HWSNBN to let him know that I was going to take the car to my early exercise class because it was snowing. At that exact moment, The Imp came blinking into the dim light of our room, and came fully awake justlikethat.
The Imp: "It's snowing?"
Me, disgusted: "Yes, it's snowing outside."
The Imp, excited: "It's snowing?! I want to see!!"
Me, still not impressed: "Well then, go look out a window."
The Imp ran to our dining room window and pressed his nose against the glass. Inches away, big puffy flakes drifted lazily past him. He actually clapped, and started jumping up and down.
The Imp, turning to look at me, beaming: "Yay! This means we can build a snowman! Yay!!"
That gave me pause. To The Imp, a Vancouver-born child of three, snow's not something to be endured; it's a thing of myth and legend. It happens rarely, and it's cause for celebration.
Me, putting on my game face: "Yes, honey. That means we can build a snowman."
I went off to my class, and the boys got up and had breakfast. By the time I returned an hour and a half later, the skies had cleared. And much to The Imp's chagrin, it had warmed up enough outside that any snow on the ground when I left had already melted away.
My snow-hating self was given a reprieve.
1) It is way too easy to pass our biases on to our kids without even realizing it - with a smidgen less self-awareness, I would have obliviously squashed all The Imp's joy this morning. That's something to think about.
2) I need to buy The Imp some mittens. Next time it snows, I'm blowing off the exercise class.
|The Imp in the snow, November 2010, almost exactly a year ago|