a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Dec, 2016

Thinking out loud about snow

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. It snowed overnight; enough to cover everything in a blanket of white. Although I don’t love the cold, snow makes me happy. This, despite the fact it means extra work in terms of clearing snow off the car, shoveling the driveway, mopping wet floors in the mudroom, the need to pile on extra layers etc. Somehow I am able to overlook those things, or at least push them aside, while I dwell on the beauty of it.

A fresh snowfall – the smell of it, the crunch of snow – reminds me of being a kid. I remember getting zipped into a bulky snowsuit and playing outside with friends for hours, building forts and snowmen, and making snow angels. We lived on a dead end street, which was shaped like a key. Every once in awhile there’d be enough snow that city street cleaning crews would leave a massive pile in the middle of the street with just enough space for cars to drive around it. All the neighbourhood kids would descend on this hill of snow, which became ground zero for snowball fights and games of “let’s pretend we’re mountain climbers.” Caves were dug out and claimed, walls were fortified with ferocious hunks of carved ice and snow. It was wonderful, and when my feet and face were about to freeze off (or my mother called) I’d come inside for a snack and a cup of tea or hot chocolate, totally soaked and exhausted from it all. It was a very special time, one of the happiest of my childhood years. I’ll remember it for the rest of my days.

As I reflect back on that time I realize that parental involvement was limited here. Sure, my parents probably watched from the window and trusted that all of the kids looked out for one another to a reasonable degree, but I was essentially on my own in this snowy world, even at a very small age. I was making my own decisions and looking out for number one. The independence of it charged my internal batteries and in a way, made me feel like my own person.

I now know that this wasn’t just a lovely time, it was an important time. It was something we tried to do with our own kids too. I wonder whether we succeeded to the same degree.

2 Responses to "Thinking out loud about snow"

1 | jack frost

December 6th, 2016 at 9:57 am


First snow is joy.

2 | Claudette

December 6th, 2016 at 10:18 am


Every day my little girl child is glued to the weather network. They keep talking about snow, but we haven’t seen any! :)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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