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Snow and a Fox Den

February 12, 2010
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Apparently our area has gotten more snow this winter than ever before. I find that hard to believe. I’m not saying it’s not true, but… maybe it’s not true. It’s a lot of snow, but surely there used to be much more before roasty-toasty-pollution set in, and besides, I don’t think what we’ve gotten is nearly enough to make up for all the gloomy snowless winters I’ve seen ’round here. I love the snow: I love watching a snowstorm from the warmth of home, I love seeing it glitter at night, I love waking up to such beauty, and I love love love that I don’t have to drive the kids to school, go to work, keep up with any appointments, or do anything but enjoy myself. I haven’t even dug out my car. Pshhhht, who needs a car?

My daughter found a fox den today, belonging to a family we have seen many times. She followed its tracks down our neighbor’s hill which is usually very wild with plants. I stood there at the entrance, amazed and excited and deep down expecting to be bitten at any minute but not about to pass that loco fear on to my kids. If I can learn to love bugs with true honesty because I’m raising two natural-born entomologists, then I can be way impressed by a wild-canine discovery as I calmly stare into the mouth of a fox’s den (and imagine movement several times where there is none).

My neighbor’s nine-year-old joined us, not saying much, eating snow, telling some creative lies (a habit in her which I find really fascinating), and at first pretending or believing she wasn’t really going to have fun. But she did. Her smiles and laughter increased steadily over the next hour. And every time I fell with a startled squeal in the hip-deep snow, she found it amazingly hilarious. So of course, I fell a bit more often than necessary, though most of my falling was truly accidental, spiced up with an extra-loud yelp or a cry for help. There’s nothing like a grownup who can’t get things right to light up a child’s face, and I’m more than happy to be that person. And it’s reality based—I really do screw up a lot!

I’ve heard from some stir-crazy mamas who want out of their houses and a break from the kids, but thankfully this home-time is normal for us. As long as there is enough food and a working heater, I will stay home: making snow ice cream and cocoa, shoveling paths and playing hard, enticing my cold-wary son outside and releasing my weather-impervious daughter into an amount of snow I thought our neck of the woods would never get, and loving that we have, supposedly, received more snow than ever before.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. chuuurls permalink
    February 12, 2010 2:12 pm

    You guys sound like you had a lot of fun during the snow!

    I applaud your courage with the fox den. Foxes make such horrible scary sounds when they bark and, while they are cute, they are also sort of vicious looking. I would have been wig-woogin’ out all over the place.

  2. February 12, 2010 2:18 pm

    yeah, they’re totally freaky when they’re chasing each other around playing! we all would freeze when we heard it over the summer, even though we knew it was just the half-grown pups having fun.

    ps: you make up some mighty fine words 😀

  3. February 14, 2010 12:18 am

    It does make you wonder, doesn’t it, about the mechanics and extent of the inheritance of attitudes? I know someone with OC tendencies, and it’s worrying how the way you are can polarise the people around you in a negative – and even pathological way – as they have to adapt to accommodate your neuroses. I remember being shown a video of a woman with really severe OCD, whose whole family had become OC because of her. She had to have really intensive CBT, which didn’t really even solve her problems.

    I remember when my siblings were very young, that I made an intentional decision to hide my feelings about spiders so they wouldn’t learn the reaction from me. So their arachnophobia now is all their own and nothing to do with me XD

    What I really mean to say is: squee! Foxes! Snow! Kiddlywinks! Also, I loved reading this. I’ve just had class today (Islamic Counselling = awesome), so my mind is all academic. XD

    • February 14, 2010 5:47 am

      i think that’s pretty impressive — a kid making that self-aware decision to not pass on a phobia. it took me several years of parenting to get cozy with dirt and bugs. islamic counselling sounds totally interesting! what kind of things are you discussing?

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