We have been leaving our sleds out most of the winter as offerings to the snow gods. So far it has been working, although I had to correct the kids on making the proper offering. Scattering the toboggans about the yard is not the way to get the snow gods’ attention: One must place the sleds vertically, up against the deck or porch railing, as if ready for instant use. You don’t want to get rain all winter, do you?
This is Naomi’s first year sledding.
Above: NaNi, at the bottom of the hill after one of her first-ever sledding runs. “Again!”
Sledding was great last night at Roby Park, in Nashua, which is not far from our house! The snow was perfect for speed; we were getting within about 20 feet of the fence at the bottom of the hill. Conditions should be same for the next few nights; I can’t go tonight. I might go on Tuesday, but will probably have too much work.
Isaac was practicing on a $1, small, narrow snowboard we got at a yard sale—it’s amazing how quickly he learns. He had several runs where he made it almost completely down the hill. I wonder how he’d do on a larger board with boot clamps. David tried it sitting and laying down. Isaac also challenged us to race him, sleds versus feet. He’s fast.
Above left: Isaac’s Calvin & Hobbes snowman (2 heads, 4 arms, etc.).
Above right: Our three-toboggan sled train. NaNi is in the front, Doug is in the middle (and providing the steering), David is in the back.
Naomi was completely thrilled. She always wants to go from the very top of the hill. I hold her sled in front of mine, which provides excellent steering control. The second day we went sledding, someone bumped her, and she was noticably timid for the rest of that day; last night she was fine. She seems nervous still while we are getting in position. I reassure her by explaining what I’m doing. “I’m just getting onto my sled. Don’t worry, I won’t let go of you. Remember, we won’t move until you say, ‘Go.'” And then she counts down (or up), and calls out, “Go!” and we’re off! Her first word upon reaching the bottom is, “Again!” She burst into tears when I said it was time to go home.
Above left: In the Wilcox backyard, the natives are restless. Isaac uses his bow and arrow to enhance his Mutant Snow Goon.
Above right: Even though our sledding was done, and we were all a little wet and cold, NaNi insisted on continuing to play outside.
Earlier this year, I took some pictures, and even have a short video clip of one of Naomi’s first sledding runs (if for nothing more than freaking out Nichelle). I’ll have to see what’s worth posting. (Editor’s note: I looked; the video isn’t that great, and the photos are mostly dark or blurry. It was cold when I took them! I’ve added the one that was decent.)
(New photos above added January 25, 2006.)