Imperfect outdoors

It was a cold but sunny Sunday in mid-February.  Although our weather forecast called for highs only in the upper 20s, when I opened the door to stand in the sun, I felt energized.

“Honey, let’s go for a walk to campus!” I said. I could pick up my supermarket inserts and we would get our 15 minutes outside and then some.

We bundled up the children and ourselves, put the littlest guy in the wagon and set off.  Pete with his sunglasses because they helped him avoid seeing our neighbors’ “scary chimney.”  Somehow with the sunglasses, it is less scary.


But I had made a miscalculation.  It was colder than it had seemed.  The boys were not wearing mittens.  The sun went behind the clouds and the wind starting blowing.  Snow started swirling around us.  I gave Pete one of my gloves to wear, while he put the other one in his “hand pocket.”  By this point, we were closer to our destination than to home, but everyone was frigid and little guy was crying.  We urged Pete onward and began to run.

Finally, we reached the over-warmth of the library.  But the supermarket circulars and other newspaper inserts were mysteriously missing.  Dejectedly, I nursed John in the student lounge, where the comfort and warmth knocked him out into a deep, deep sleep. Going back into the wagon for the return trip would enrage him, so he would have to be carried home and I hadn’t brought a sling or other carrier.

Although I debated sending Matt back on foot to rescue me and the kids with our car, we started this ill-fated walk together, so we would finish it together as a family.  Pete was bundled into the wagon this time and John was zipped into my coat.  Once again, as we began our walk, the sun shone, only to quickly disappear as the wind and snow buffeted us cruelly. Finally, we staggered home: cold, but victorious.

But we got our 15 minutes outside!

Snowed on, but sleeping peacefully.

Snowed on, but sleeping peacefully.


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