January can be tough. We always have a cold snap—which is brutally beautiful, and means it takes more effort to get out with kids.
School has resumed, which in our household means bickering afternoons and scheduled weeks. We always seem to have less family time even when we plan for sports that everyone can do at the same time, because let’s be honest, that’s really just driving in the car together fighting about who stepped on whose seat.
So this Sunday we decided to drag the kids, yes there were tears, on a mid-afternoon saunter. We settled on Beach Lake which is a short jaunt over the lake, through a spurt of trees, to the inlet. It was a warm day with a cold wind (which we neglected to realize might be the case so told the underdressed whine-cold kids to run to warm up).And then, as it seems to miraculously happen, they start to notice things.Even when they are unable to skate upon, these little lakes skim by so quickly and before anyone really realized, we’d hopped the snowy bank and begun tracing the gurgling creek. “It sure is dead in the winter,” my daughter said to me. So to be contrary, I started taking note of animal evidenceand noticing life waiting beneath the ice, until suddenly we broke out onto a familiar sight gone mad, moonscaped mad.The creek has flooded, and spilled over into an icy threshold of what feels like another world.There are craters and grounded floes of ice strewn about haphazardly, which quickly became ships and kingdoms,requiring diplomatic interventions, passwords and of course, fierce battles.The tide was heading out and I’m always shocked at how fast it flows! It was fun hurling ice chunks and watching them chase the big floes .We began a game of discovering different ice formsWhich ended in who could do the coolest thing with ice. Dad won with his mad juggling skills. It’s fascinating to try and figure out how this all happens. Asking the kids how things formed (we found icicles growing up, and clean snow under a layer of mud!)got all our gears clicking and they were soon interrupting one another with answers.On our way back, with the wind having blown itself away, we discovered a few human artifacts the whining had blocked us from seeing. A small ice rink has been shoveled out,and a series of ice fishing holes full of floating feathers. It was fun to see how thick of ice we were walking on.And that was it. A quick hour of play and lungfuls of fresh air. It was a walk on the moon.