Nature vs. the neat freak

While the blizzard of 2016 raged outside, a similar blizzard inundated my house in the form of hats, mittens, gloves, coats, boots, socks, snow pants, and coats. Like real snow, the deluge of winter apparel drifted against the doorways and melted in muddy, salty puddles on my beloved hardwood floors. The outdoorsy side of me applauded my offspring for their enthusiastic winter play, but the mother in me railed at the onslaught of wet laundry and Swiffer duty.

Good things come at a cost. Ultimately, would we rather our children stay inside, clean and dry, or charge off into the snowy day, where dreamy possibilities of snowmen, snow forts, and snowball fights await? Memories are made of toboggans, not television. At least I hope.

For the time being, I’m doing my best to endure the inevitable wintry mess and encourage outside fun. I want my children to remember winter as a time when the indoors beckons only after their toes have become slightly numb and their cheeks are cherry red. As for my floors? I’ll get to them one of these days. Just as soon as we’re through with springtime mud, summer sand, crushed fall leaves, next year’s snow….

by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator


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