It was dark before I got around to shoveling the walkway.
The girls were excited to be outside, but I had a chore to complete. They wanted to go sledding, so they started down the hill toward the field below our house where there is a nice slope. They were sure I would tell them, “No, it’s too dark, and I have to shovel snow.”
But I decided to let them go themselves.
They were surprised, but happy; empowered by my confidence in them, yet still a bit unsure.
I told them that I would be down in five minutes to check on them. So they went.
Three minutes later I saw DancinGirl (8yo), trudging up the hill, checking on me. She wanted some assurance that this really was OK, that I really was letting them go sledding … in the dark … alone. I reassured her, and off she went back to her sister (9yo), around the corner to the sledding slope.
I continued to shovel … and to worry. “What am I crazy? Someone will snatch them away. It’s not late, but it is dark,” I thought to myself.
I shoveled faster.
After five minutes – it felt like two hours, I walked down to check on them. They were fine, laughing and playing. We went over a few safety rules, and I reminded them at our friends live in the house at the top of the slope.
Then I went back to my chore.
I started to shovel again … and to worry again.
“What am I crazy? Val is going to kill me. Yeah, that will make for a great headline: ‘Two Girls Snatched From Sledding Hill; Their Stupid Father Murdered By His Own Wife’ And I would deserve it too,” I thought.
So I shoveled faster.
When I was done, I grabbed the extra sled and headed down our hill to the sledding slope.
From the top, I could see them heading back up for another run; so I jumped on the sled to meet them.
Great excitement ensued.
After a few runs, ArtGirl wanted to head back; but DancinGirl and I stayed for a while longer – she wanted “Daddy time.”
So I told her I would give her a push and meet her back up at the top, but after the push, I jumped on the sled behind her – just the sort of surprise that delights her.
And down we went, fast and cold, snow in our faces, all laughter.