A few weeks ago when it was bitterly cold, my friend Karin (in her classic Prepared Friend fashion), texted me in the car line at school: “Want to take the kids to the Bradford Beach? I heard there’s some amazing sights.”
Um, no. I don’t. It’s, like, -20. It’ll be even colder at the lakefront with the breeze coming in off the lake. But since I’m trying harder to get out and do things in the winter, I sighed. Yes, I’ll go. This will fill up my girls’ little love cups and will make me feel like I am winning at parenting. (Also, when the girls complain that they never get to do anything fun, I can remind them of that one time we went to the lake when it was -20 and saw all the beauty and had somuchfun and now it’s time for you to fold laundry and make your bed because all the fun is over now).
A short drive later, we’re in the middle of a frozen tundra with our seven collective children. Lauryn (who is nearly as tall as I am) was wearing ballet flats with no socks–no bueno for walking through snow drifts.
My lakefront excursion objectives (in order of priority) were to make sure no one got frostbite; prevent kids from falling into Lake Michigan; make sure no one loses an eye from an icicle; have fun, if possible.
It was really beautiful. We got there a little after 4p and the light was perfect. Mari was enchanted, mostly because I told her it was just like Elsa’s frozen palace. There were some supervised sword fights with icicles and dares to put your tongue to this or that to see if it sticks.
No one died or fell or lost an eye, so the excursion was a success. I am Mother of the Year. I don’t know if I have ever been so cold in all my life, but the kids had a good time. I had to keep telling myself how much fun we were all having even though I couldn’t feel my face.
I’m happy that we went, but let’s be clear: if we would have stayed for another 2 minutes, we would have all died of exposure.