Monday, January 7, 2013

Snow Angels

I ventured out into the snow in my swimsuit for the first time when I was six. I can't remember the exact circumstances surrounding the adventure, but I would imagine that after listening to my sister, Sara, and I laugh about how silly it would be to wear a swimsuit in the snow, my mom suggested we give it a try. We threw on our swimsuits and headed out the door with the simple goal of making it to the swing set and back.

On our first attempt, Sara and I made it about two feet from the door. Then we went back inside and put on flip-flops. On our second attempt, Sara and I made it 10 feet from the back door. Then we went back inside and put on sweaters. But on our third attempt, we made it all the way to the swing set and back. Granted, we were wearing flip-flops and sweaters, but our trip across the yard on that January day began a tradition that is still going strong nearly 30 years later.

The best years for the tradition were those when we were in high school and college, because my parents had a hot tub on their deck. Swimsuit snow angels are easy (comparatively) when bookended by soaks in 104 degree hot tub water, and we were able to convince our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to join us because of this.

But then my parents sold their hot tub. Brrr....

I couldn't let the tradition die just because the hot tub was no longer in our lives, so every few years I ventured out into the snow in my swimsuit. I mentioned this tradition to a few friends - and my entire Group Active class at the gym - in the days prior to our Christmas trip to Wisconsin, and most couldn't believe I'd actually ever CHOSEN to do something so ridiculous. And that's what motivated me to go for it again this year.

I'm certain that if I hadn't talked with friends about and promised to post pictures on Facebook of the swimsuit snow angels I NEVER would have made one this year. The weather was ridiculously cold and dreary nearly every day we were there, and I kept putting it off and putting it off. I finally just picked a day (when the high temperature for the day was 25 degrees - the highest we experienced during our two week trip), worked out like crazy for 30 minutes beforehand, threw on my swimsuit and went for it.
Please excuse my super flattering double chin.  I was screaming
the entire time, which didn't make my face look very pretty.
I couldn't get out of the snow fast enough once I was finished.
My snow angel is in the upper right, and Will's snow angel is in the
lower left.  One of his arms messed up one of my legs, but I'll forgive him.
It was 24 degrees and cloudy, with a light breeze, that morning.
When they saw me putting on my swimsuit, both Will and Hallie put their swimsuits on as well.  Hallie had actually been talking about making a swimsuit snow angel for days, but I would have been willing to bet my computer or my diamond earrings or a million dollars that she'd never even approach the open backdoor in her swimsuit.  (I was right - as soon as we opened the door and the cold air blew in she started to cry and ran off to find her blanket.)  Will, on the other hand, hadn't seemed at all interested in my adventure until seconds before I ran outside.  Will's first attempt mirrored my very first attempt when I was six - he took two steps across the deck and then ran back inside to put on his boots.  But Will made good on his second attempt, even though it took him a painfully long two minutes to finally cross the finish line.
First he walked across the yard and stared at the snow for a while.
Then he ventured into the snow...
...where he thought really long and hard...
...about whether or not he was crazy enough to follow his mom's lead.
Finally he decided he WAS crazy enough, and he sat down in the snow.
And then he started to cry.
For the record, I did not make Will do this.  In fact, I kept telling
him - over and over and over - that he DIDN'T have to make a snow
angel in his swimsuit.  He wouldn't listen to me.
He sat there, crying in the snow, for what seemed like an eternity.  I
couldn't bear to watch him slowly freeze any longer, nor could I bear the
thought of him getting so close but not accomplishing his ultimate goal, so
at this point I yelled, "I'll give you $5!"  He immediately took a deep breath,
rolled back, and made the most beautiful snow angel I'd ever seen.
Midwestern blood runs through his veins.
It sounds silly, but the adrenaline rush after doing something so ridiculous and shocking to your body is incredible.  (After I'd come back inside I tried desperately to get Tom, my mom, and Hallie to go back out with me, but none were even slightly interested.)  The exhilaration and energy ran through my veins and kept me moving for the next two hours, so much so that I cleaned and vacuumed my parents' house (in my swimsuit - I bet the neighbors were curious about what was going on), organized the refrigerator, did two loads of laundry, got both kids dressed and ready for the day, and showered in less than an hour.  I honestly felt like Super Woman, and it's entirely possible I'd never been prouder of my Super Boy.

It's unlikely that we'll see snow in College Station this winter, but if we do, I promise to host a swimsuit snow angel party at my house.

1 comment:

  1. The pic of Will crying is sooo cute!!! That's awesome that he did it though. Y'all are way braver than I. Aaron might do it though. If we got snow in College Station AND you hosted a Swim Suit Snow Angel party. Great post!!!