As I’ve done so much whining and complaining about winter here, it’s only fair and balanced that I should portray the other side of the picture. Yesterday afternoon we took the kids sliding in the playground up behind my parents’ place. It was still very cold, but the sun was shining brilliantly, glimmering and sparkling on the snow and in the icicles. It was truly beautiful and we all had a good time — even me! (Although I am not actually pictured here having a good time in the snow, as I am the photographer. You will just have to take my word for it that I wasn’t whinging and moaning the whole time).
We had a very action-packed weekend, or at least an action-packed Saturday. Went to church in the morning, where I had to tell children’s story and got to tell one of my very favourite true stories, about the homeless man who found $900 in the trash and gave it back. Had lunch with my parents, played and frolicked in the snow, went home to our gradually-warming-up house just long enough to change and then went down to Torbay to have supper with our friends Darryl, Cynthia, and Brianna. After a nice supper of haystacks, a game of Blockus and a game of Junior Pictionary, we headed home again.
Then I abandoned my husband and children — temporarily — to pick up Lori and Natalie and head out to Mount Pearl, where Christine was hosting a women-only dessert party in honour of International Women’s Day. My determination to give up chocolate for Lent was severely tested by the delicious goodies on Christine’s table, but she had thoughtfully provided all sorts of choices so that even someone not indulging in chocolate could truly celebrate the accomplishments of women — in particular, of one woman who spent the entire day in the kitchen with fabulous results!!
The whole family slept in the living room again last night — not because it was still cold, but because it was fun. We had a very lazy morning this morning; Jason and I lay around drowsily while the kids watched Pirates of the Caribbean and made breakfast for us. Yes, they really did, and it wasn’t too bad either, although they didn’t have to use any appliances more complex than the toaster.
Today was generally laid-back, to balance out all the running around from yesterday, but we did go to the Aquarena where Christopher demonstrated his new-found skill in the deep end. He has been taking lessons with his class at school and been quite distraught about the fact that he was expected to swim in the deep end and didn’t feel ready. This week he finally broke through that barrier and today he was not just swimming around there but also jumping off the diving board. I am so proud of him! The only drawback is that now he doesn’t want to go on the waterslide as often as he used to, because he has the diving board to amuse him. And I kind of feel silly going on the waterslide without a child along….
Of course, all I’m telling you about here are the external events of our weekend. On the level of our rich inner lives, where most of the activity happens here, the two big activities of the weekend were 1)Piracy and 2) Chemistry. The Piracy started even before we watched Pirates this morning — all weekend, both kids have been dressing up in pirate costumes, building pirate ships, and generally buckling all the swashes in sight. Christopher talks in his “pirate accent,” which sounds like — well, like a nine-year-old Newfoundland boy imitating Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Chemistry also featured prominently as the children amused themselves by filling empty water bottles with coloured water in various combinations and setting up “science labs” with them. When I went out for groceries this afternoon I was strictly informed that I must bring home more food colouring. With this renewed resource they busied themselves in the basement setting up labs, then invited us to come down and see them.
Christopher was explaining things in his lab — using, oddly, the exact same accent as his “pirate” accent. At one point, as he wrote out a formula for how you could combine the different chemicals represented by the bottles, he added under his breath, “By the way, this is all fiction — you can’t really do this!”
Meanwhile, in the next room, Emma invited me into “Emma’s Lab, Museum and Grocery Store, where we have almost everything you need to get through the day. May I help you?”
“I’d like a bottle of that blue stuff,” I said, picking the thing that looked most likely to get me through the day.
“Um…none of these bottles are actually for sale right now,” she said. “But you can look at them.”
“OK … I’d like to look at a bottle something blue.”
Amidst all the swimming, piracy and chemistry, I forgot to report that the best thing about today was the weather — the temperature actually climbed above freezing for the first time in weeks. It was sunny and about 5 degrees today — that’s in the low 40s for the metrically-challenged. You could hear the snow melting. I was not too pleased about Daylight Savings Time coming in a few weeks early this year, and when I put the clocks ahead last night I was still grumbling about how DST in March only means a few more hours of daylight to see the mounds of snow everywhere. I’d rather have the clocks go ahead when there’s at least some glimmer of hope that spring is coming.
But today felt almost like the whisper of a promise of spring. Yes, I know it’s a false promise — we’re not even halfway through March and we still have Paddy’s Brush and Sheila’s Brush and who knows what else to look forward to. But on a day like this, it’s possible to pretend that spring is around the corner, and why not enjoy that feeling for a few moments?
From huddling around our fire on Friday night, to frolicking in the snow Saturday afternoon, to dreaming of spring today — with all the friends and family we’ve seen and all the fun we’ve enjoyed — this has been one of those weekends that just makes me sit back and go, “Aaahh, yes … this is Life As It Should Be Lived.”
Hope your weekend was As It Should Be too, and if not, I hope you had at least a glimmer of brighter days ahead.