So I am on a roll here talking about books I have read/am reading. I recently just picked up a book called “Free Range Kids” which came out of a popular blog with the same name. The book is really geared towards parents with helpful tips about letting our caged children run free. It is filled with facts and advice such as “Drop your third or fourth grade child and a friend at an ice cream store with money for sundaes. Pick them up in half an hour.” There is even has an encyclopedia in the back of the book entitled “Safe or Not? The A-Z Review of Everything you Might be Worried About.” Which includes ‘metal bats,’ (I’m assuming of the baseball kind) ‘death by stroller’ and ‘eating snow.’
As I sit here in Boston looking out my window at the snowy landscape (in early March) I am drawn to this last bit about snow. Everyone who grew up in certain parts of this country (and many other countries of the world) has a childhood story or two about snow. There is something magical about the break in pace, and the change of landscape. I remember waking up in the morning only to realize school was canceled and I was going to be able to spend the entire day outside (I did indeed eat snow—usually with maple syrup on top). I remember walking up that terribly steep hill pulling my sled behind me, and the rush of the snow on my face as I sped back down. I don’t, however, remember playing in the snow at school. I can’t imagine that it never happened, but I just don’t remember it.
This past week many schools in New England had school despite the white stuff falling from the sky. Yesterday I heard a kid saying that “this was the best recess we have EVER had” when he came back in from 45 mintues of playing in the snow with his classmates. The little kids spent the entire recess body sledding down a big hill of cleared parking lot snow. You just can’t beat it!
It is easy for us adults to be annoyed at the streets, the fact that we have to stand outside for outdoor recess, or the hour of our cancelation call. We may even worry about the safety of our students eating the snow, or staying outside too long. But before we do, lets just step back and remember the magic of it all—and maybe, if you can let our inner child out for just a minute you can have a little taste of the snow yourself (I highly recommend adding some warm maple syrup).