CONGRATULATIONS to all of you for successfully supporting your child through nearly the entire winter! We say “nearly” because of course, we’re not completely through winter yet! You may take heart that spring is around the corner, but, as this doesn't mean as much to the children, we’d like to bolster your resolve from their perspective. THANK YOU for helping your children have the opportunity to keep experiencing the absolute JOY of staying connected to the world outdoors throughout this lovely winter season!
We’ve eaten as much snow as we ate produce from the garden. We have moved our bodies every way imaginable in, on, over, through and even under snow. And we’ve all been angels. We know what ice is all about. We’ve held it, tasted it, chipped it, melted it, walked on it, slid on it, fell on it, and enjoyed beautiful ice sculptures on our tables. We have silently watched the breath of the ponies in the cold, the steam arise from the pan of warm water for the ducks and silver pheasant, and ice crystals land silently on our heavy mittens. We’ve experienced dry air, wet air, cold air, warmer air (relative to the cold air), and air so crisp that our eyes watered as we marveled that the wind turbine wasn’t even moving that day.
AND, because of all of this, it has been an absolute pleasure to experience ~ woolen socks, cozy sweaters, fleecy mittens, “mufflers”, hoods, warm soup, fresh baked bread, warm water with many bubbles for our hands, warm blankets as we sleep, and a lovely fire in the wood burning stove for drying our wet outdoor clothes. These simple pleasures would be missed if warm were the norm.
SO, NOW is the time for all of you to take heart. This is the hardest part of winter for us as parents (though not always for our children!). By now all of those beautiful, clean, roomy winter clothes we bought in the fall are dirty, stained, tight over growing bodies, mismatched, lost altogether, full of hard tissues in pockets, and Velcro that just doesn’t stick like it used to (although many of those zippers now do!). We just need everything to hold on a little longer, even if our children don’t have that in mind. They are focused on what is working and not working now. We are also weary of having so many parts to put on, pack, and keep together just to get each child ready for each day.
We may need to make a few adjustments these days to help our children enjoy the last days of winter. We usually say this (enjoying the last days) about summer, but the children feel it about winter also! Instead of the “dog days of summer” these are more the 'cat days of winter' – go out and enjoy the cold and come inside and curl up cozily. We may need to add rings or handles to help them hold parts of their fasteners. We may have to help them layer socks if the boots don’t fit over the thicker socks (cold feet is often our biggest challenge). We all have to search our environments for renegade mittens as everyone’s seem to be at large at the moment. We may need to check hats for fit and adjust.
We will still be needing our snow pants, hats and mittens for quite some time, so if these aren’t working so well or are missing this would be a place to start adjustments. We will still need to have clothing on in layers – several layers for warmth are necessary for outdoors every day and then we can remove layers when we are inside. And please, please, please, mark all of your child’s clothing somewhere with a name or initials as we have a lot of clothing in the houses at this time of year.
As always, if you have any questions please ask one of us and we will be happy to help you locate, adjust and generally work with your child’s clothing. And take heart ~ we are all in this together!! As you look forward to the first flowers of spring, two layers of clothes instead of four, and warm breezes instead of wind chills, don’t forget to stop, feel and maybe eat the ice with your child! Warmly, Chris