“Daddy, can we please, please go outside? I wanna go sledding!”
I popped the final bite of my tuna fish sandwich into my mouth and looked out the window. Clear, bright sunshine reflected off the once-budding but now snow-covered ground. Pulling my gaze back from the window, I met the hopeful face of my four-year-old daughter. Lunch now finished, she was insistent. “I’ve got to take a call,” I heard my wife say as she exited the room, reminding me that our work lives are now a constant balancing act. My turn to watch the kids. Maybe we should go outside?
“Okay, let’s do this, girls!” Speaking loud enough from the dining room that my two eldest in the living room could hear, I resolved to embrace this moment. “This may be our last chance to sled!”
* * * * * * * * * * *
Outside, the air felt crisp. All of us, now covered in January snow gear (did I mention it was late March?), turned toward the expansive sea of white that was now our backyard. “You girls think you can still all fit on the sled?” I asked. One by one, each of them arranged herself onto our purple plastic sled, proving to me that they could. Looking down at the three of them, I felt myself suddenly gripped by nostalgia. Would this be the final time I could pull them – all three of them – down the hill? I’ve realized it is true what people say: They grow up fast. Indeed, they do.
I grabbed the yellow rope in my gloved hand and turned to face the snowy downgrade. “Okay girls, here we go!”