I grew up in Miami, and although I don't own even a single pair of shorts (that is a subject for another post), I am definitely a tank top, jeans, and flip-flop kinda gal. I could never survive in, say, Boston or New York because a) I prefer Colorado casual, like being able to wear a nice pair of jeans to a fancy restaurant--I definitely don't have the urban chic style, and b) I could never stand the brutal New England winters. Denver, however, is a crafty little city that chose the gorgeous Rockies as a backdrop but settled itself neatly in the plains to avoid those unreasonably cold temperatures. It snows infrequently enough that I am excited each time, exclaiming to the children that it is certainly a hot cocoa day and sitting with a blanket by the window to watch the flakes fall. When it does snow, it is peaceful and cozy. We go sledding and build snow forts and do all the appropriate snow activities during the storm and the next morning, and then by that afternoon the snow fades away under the electric blue skies and warm sun. Aaahhhh, winter in nice, neat little packages. Adore it.
You see, I am a prime example of a product of Classic Parenting Rule #346--Deprive your children of something (in this case, seasons, written about previously in the middle of this post) and they will be forever be fixated on that wondrous, elusive thing. It worked out for the good in my case, because I am filled with glee every three months as the landscape changes around me, opening up new activities and making me excited for what's to come.
I think it is backfiring for Sam and I, because we implemented Classic Parenting Rule #346 with the television. Our kids don't watch television and only have Friday Night movie nights. There is also a rare occasion where I am solo for the evening and need something to occupy our little man while I get dinner going, but for the most part we totally deprive our kids of the tv. They aren't fixated on tv on a day-to-day basis by any means (in fact, it's not on their radars at all), but if we are in a public place or over at a friend's house and a television happens to be on, it is like they are drawn in by an invisible magnetic force, unable to avert their eyes, no matter what is on. If you had witnessed the sheer joy my boys displayed when I popped in the instructional DVD that came with my super-duper amazing Vita-Mix blender you would have immediately picked up the phone and told a social worker at Child Protective Services to open a new file, stat.
So, last week it got pretty chilly here--"unseasonably cold", the weather report read. I was excited--Sam chopped a bunch of wood (free from Craigslist--score!), and we planned for butternut squash soup and other yummy wintry foods for dinner. I came in the door each afternoon with the kids and immediately got the fire going, and one of them would pipe up saying, "It is definitely a hot cocoa day!" Yes, I would agree, and made hot cocoa (not the packaged stuff, the real stuff) and made sure they each had 7 mini marshmallows in their cup. It was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g outside, homeless shelter workers walking around and trying to get people to come inside kind of freezing.
Did I mention that I adore seasons? Well, Farmer's Almanac, I know you said this was going to be a harsh winter, but I am a girl from Miami who is living in Denver because, with the lack of humdity and the altitude, 40 degrees and sunny is absolutely lovely and you can put on a fleece when it is snowing and feel perfectly comfortable. I didn't sign up for this "unseasonably cold" weather that we are now braving Week 2 of (and I capitalized that word because it feels about as a big as an eternity at the moment). We came home today and I grumbled something about not making hot cocoa every single day before being a mean mom and refusing to make it. As you can see, Sam braved the roof climb to hang the Christmas lights but only got partway done before the snow started. Weather, you are sucking the joy out of seasons, so go easy on this deprived Miami girl, ok?