Monday, February 5, 2007

Daddy, we never went to the snow park.

Last week, Paolo uttered that innocent sentence as Sam drove past Gully Park, cluttered with children sledding and playing in the snow. Sam, for dad reasons I don't fully comprehend, was devastated by his son pointing out his obvious failure at daddage or fatherness or something. He promised Paolo they would indeed go back soon and play at the snow park.

Before Sam left for work on Saturday, he suggested it would be a great day for Paolo and I go to the park to play in the snow. Considering it was below freezing and we both had colds, I nodded politely. Sure, we'll go to the park today; that dry, frigid air will feel great in our raw noses and sore throats. Let me just clean the bathroom floor with my tongue first. Seriously.

Unfortunately, Sam made this suggestion in front of Paolo, and Paolo witnessed me "agreeing." He doesn't get sarcasm yet. So as I bundled us up to go to the grocery store, Paolo kept reminding me that we were going to the park, you know, with all the snow, and we can play in the snow, and also the park? We have to go there. First.

Parking was easy considering there was one other car in the lot, and it was probably abandoned until the Spring thaw. I unbuckled Paolo, who was chattering away about wanting to make a snowman, but we don't have a carrot for a nose, and is that a deal-breaker? We had a minor scuffle about mittens, which I won easily. (If you don't wear your mittens, you are not getting out of the car.) Sometimes I act like the parent, and it totally works.

We walked into the park and stood on the sidewalk staring at the snowy fields and playground. Being without our one family member with snow experience, we were a touch bewildered. Paolo stomped through the snow, marveling at his footprints, while I attempted a snowman. Having spent my entire childhood in the tropics, I'd never actually made a snowman before. I thought it had something to do with rolling a ball of snow, which would pick up more snow, making the ball bigger? It wasn't really working out for me. I kind of gathered up some snow, sculpted some roundish lumps, and stacked them three high. My snowman was no more than 18 inches tall, but Paolo beamed at him for about five seconds before kicking and stomping him to death.

We moved on to snowballs, with me making them and handing them to Paolo to hurl at various objects. This turned out to be his most favorite game once I became the target. I packed and handed the snowballs up to Paolo at the top of the slide, then stood frozen below and waited for him to pelt me, commiserating when he missed and cheering when he scored. If that isn't the definition of a mother, I don't know what is.

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