Last year, my friend Kitty took Duncan and I on our first EVER sledding trip. I’d been snow tubing before, but never sledding (pretty different experiences). We had such a great time with her and her amazing daughter, that we went again when the snow piled up over the holidays this year.
Kitty and her family are seriously awesome friends. We’ve forged our friendship through roller derby, late night dancing to DeVotchKa at the tiniest bar in town and crazy instances of mutual friends.
We ended up at a golf course this time around. Because of that, I won’t have the punkin sledding without a helmet again. HD is fearless. And I try hard not to be overly protective of him. I want him to get bumps and bruises and learn lessons that way. Of course, these are measured risks I allow. Not just buck wild shit.
He really wanted to go down the hill alone (because I slow the sled down). I watched Brad and Kitty go down first and thought, okay, not a big deal. So I sent him off, down the hill. About 15 seconds into his descent, he vanished!
HOLY FUCK THE UNIVERSE JUST ATE MY BABY!
I thought that a sinkhole had opened up and ate my precious punkin. At the top of the hill I screamed out “DUNCAN!” And started running towards where he was. But I fell about two steps in and then just mostly did this to get to him:
Turned out that he had nailed a jump off the hill into the sand trap. As the other folks around were marveling in the kid’s ability to land the jump in tact, I was just so happy he has okay. And thankful that we’ve been working so hard on following directions. Directions like: do not let go of the handles when you go down the hill. It was perfectly shaded, so we had NO idea there was a sand trap there.
When us grownups tried to repeat what the boy had done, we all complained about how badly it hurt our asses. Umph! We are old.
Sledding is always a great workout, because the kids still insist on being towed back up.
All this led me to conclude 3 fun tips for parents when it comes to sledding!
#1 – Helmets are important. Wear them. Duncan already has a bike helmet and I was pretty irresponsible for not having him wear it. With a thinner beanie, the helmet would have fit properly and protected him in case of a not so fortunate incident. I’m not judging what you choose to do, but my kid will be in one next time.
#2 – Bring back up mittens, and back ups for those. No matter how many times I ask Duncan to keep his hands out of the snow, he won’t. He loves eating it, as most kids do. And Frozen did me zero favors when it comes to his fascination with snow. I haven’t been able to find insulated, waterproof mittens for him yet.
#3- Pack a winter fun kit! In this winter fun kit I’d include: a couple juice boxes, granola bars, a snack pack of Goldfish, water, a change of dry clothes, a blanket, lotion, lip balm, and if you can, a thermos with hot tea or cocoa. And more mittens.
Also, I did take a digger with him a couple times. It was instinct to hold him closer when we tumbled, but he would have been way better off if I hadn’t. We’re going to practice that move. Because we ain’t going conservative anytime soon. As Mr. Brad said, “sled fast and live dangerously.” He was joking.
Have fun out there! And do tell me, what do you do when you take the kids out in the chilly weather for fun?