Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Trying to expose our children to new, exotic experiences, we drug the family up to Illinois for an extended family Christmas and the children's first sighting of some strange white powder that the natives call "snow".

Our little Florida Corolla Before the Christmas Eve Blizzard:

And After:

The Rationalist desperately worked to make a snowman, but the snow wasn't quite wet enough and Frosty was only about 12 inches high

A good first attempt.

The Intuitive tried catching snowflakes on his tongue.

We all prepared for the snowball battle...except for DH who was being the camera man.

We had great fun and the boys spent hours freezing their fingers off playing in the snow. However, The Intuitive suddenly changed his tune about wanting to move to Canada when he's older. After a week of temperatures in the teens and twenties, he's decided that he might stick around Florida after all.

Besides the first sighting of snow, the boys were able to meet many of their cousins and great-aunts and uncles for the very first time and take part in the giant family gathering that happens every year at Christmas. They pack about 75 people into my aunt's house and fill it with food and general revelry...and serious board and card game competitions.

I spent almost every Christmas in the same way when I was growing up.

Later in the week we traveled up to Chicago and took the boys to the Field Museum of Natural History, where they house Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever excavated.
They weren't as impressed with the Egyptian mummies as I thought they would be. Those always fascinated me when I was their age. They enjoyed the meteorite exhibit and the gold and gem exhibits, but the 3D movie about Sue was probably their favorite part.

After the museum closed, we met my youngest brother near his tiny apartment in Chinatown and took him out for dinner. He's 22 now and noticeably more mature than the last time we saw him a few years ago. He's got a good job, some career goals and surprised us with gift cards for Christmas.

Even former selfish, surly teenagers grow up to be decent people!!

I told him that I was proud of him, and I think it meant a lot to him.

We had a really good visit with my mother, and as we left The Rationalist said that he felt sad that we were leaving Grandma Jan's.

Other than the colds that we were all fighting during our visit, there were nothing but positive experiences. No family drama. No grumpy children. No car problems.

A Norman Rockwell tableau if ever there was one.

It's funny how you never know when those will occur. You can never summon them at will. They just magically emerge for a few moments to be enjoyed and make fond memories to return to again and again.


Like a Child said...

I grew up in fl, so my first snow was here in nc. My kids dont quite appreciate it as much as i do, and always complain about being wet and cold. I'm sure they will get less whiney as they get older!

So i can relate to the excitement of seeing snow;)

james said...

On the drive when we moved from Arkansas to Los Angeles, my father stopped at a rest area in the mountains and showed us a patch of something he called snow. It was about 3 feet wide, and rather grainy and cold. Not a dramatic experience, but it put me well ahead of my 2nd grade teacher (in LA) who misidentified hail for snow...
I live in Wisconsin now.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Not knowing when memories are going to be made is a reason that quantity time with your children is valuable. 90% of parenting is showing up and saying your lines. Fail to do that, and you miss out.

terri said...

Like a Child,

I grew up in the Midwest and I actually miss the snow and the change of seasons...but as we were driving on icy roads and shoveling my mother's driveway I thought that it might grow old after a while.

All my memories of snow are kid memories...sledding, snow angels, snowball fights. I never had to dig myself out to go to work or the grocery store, or pay high heating bills or thaw out frozen I understand why older people retire to Florida from cold places.

James...on the trip up we stopped at a rest area and the boys saw "snow" for the very first time. It was pretty much like what you described...a small, frozen patch of melted and refrozen snow that simply amazed them.

AVI...very true.

Doug said...

I and my three teens just drove from Florida to Pennsylvania and back. First time we had seen snow in 8 years! It was nice to just "visit" it.

terri said...


Yes. A "visit" with snow is probably just the right amount of time with it!