For as much of an ice queen I am, I really can’t stand winter. I enjoy admiring a fresh snowfall for about two seconds before I’m yearning for spring time. I enjoy the way the snow-salt cocktail starches the shit out of my jean bottoms for the two minutes I spend trying to make them stand on their own before I’m yearning for dry sidewalks and green grass.
I enjoy watching people sled ride on TV before I realize that I don’t enjoy watching people sled ride on TV.
Lately, Chooch has been expressing interest in sledding. I had been hoping to keep him ignorant of such a concept but apparently people have been whispering. Was it you, Janna? WAS IT? Where else could he have learned of such awful winter torture devices?
So, being the hands-off mother that I am, I said, “Oh that’s all your father. He’ll take you sledding. Go ask him.”
But when Henry came home with a dinky red plastic sled one day, I couldn’t help but think, “Aw, now I want to go too.”
Now, I haven’t been sledding since I was a kid. Like, a single-digit kid. My brother Ryan and I would across the street from our house, where there was a steep and narrow stretch of property, surrounded on both sides by scraggly jaggerbushes and trees. We’d have to be careful because there was a rusty gas line which jutted out at the bottom, just dying to put a kid into a coma. I vaguely remember feeling like a fat bright purple mummy in my snowsuit, shivering from the snow that somehow always manages to sneak its way under ten layers of flame-retardant winter-wear, yet sweating from the exertion of lugging a sled back up a 65 degree hill. (I made that up. I had to stay after school only ALL THE TIME for geometry help. Angles can get fucked.)
At first I thought there must have been snow on the lens but then I realized that’s actually how worn Henry’s crotch is from all the lapdances he blows the rent money on.
On Wednesday, we went out to Sunny Slopes in South Park. It’s kind of like the official sledding hill in that area, and while I grew up close enough, I’ve never sled there. Standing at the precipice with my flimsy sled and staring straight into the bowl of the hill was daunting. To say my brow didn’t sprout sweat-beads at that precise moment would be a blatant lie. So there I am, chanting, “OMG I’m so scared, OMG I can’t do this” while my very impressionable son is gripping my hand, osmosing my every fear and looking up at me with wide, fearful eyes. And there’s Henry going, “Don’t you dare scare him!” I’m really good at that, though I don’t mean to be. I can’t wait to take him to his first haunted house.
Finally, I just sucked it up and gave us a big push. For 3/4 of the way down, I had gone from whispering my death chant to SCREAMING my death chant and Chooch, poor Chooch, had his eyes covered and was steady yelling, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!” But once I realized we probably weren’t going to pull a Nascar suicide flip, I calmed down and said, “Oh, hey look. We’re not going to die after all.” And Chooch was like, “Oh thank God.”
It’s a good thing that I’m in good shape for a fat girl, because the walk back up the hill was less debilitating as I imagined. Chooch, however, my nimble, spry child with boundless energy reserves, was a BITCH the whole way back up. “Ugh, my muscles hurt. My leg hurts. I can’t walk anymore. Carry me. Ugh ugh ugh this sucks.”
Chooch carried the same snowball with him the entire time. And even on a sled, Henry can’t stop sexting with his boss.
I was kind enough to let the old man have a turn or two. While I was standing at the top of the hill watching them, a mom-type kept inching closer to me. She looked like the mom from Goonies and the familiarity put me at ease. But I kept waiting for her Mexican maid to pop up behind her.
So we’re standing there, at an awkwardly close proximity, snapping pictures of our respective sled-bound families down the hill, and I couldn’t stand the awkward silence any longer so I turned and spoke to her. “It’s scarier than I remembered,” I admitted, pointing down the hill. “I haven’t been sledding since I was a kid.”
“Is it really?” she asked, with scared eyes. “My kids keep wanting me to go down with them, but I said no way, they can keep going with their father!”
“Well, once I got halfway down, it wasn’t so bad anymore and then it actually kind of felt….fun,” I continued. “You should try it!”
She laughed. “Maybe I will!” And then our families were making their way back up to us so we parted ways.
Later, I was going back down with Chooch and about halfway down, I looked to my right and saw that she was coming down from a different direction with one of her kids. I yelled, “Yeah!” and she gave me a thumbs up and laughed. I was like, “I did that, Chooch! I got her to go down!” And it brought back memories of high school, when I would encourage other girls to go down, only then it was their boyfriends laughing and giving me the thumbs up.
I actually could have stayed there all afternoon, but Henry was bitching about only having one glove (seriously, it’s a wonder more people don’t mistake him for a hobo) and Chooch was all, “I’M DONE.” I’m thinking of getting into sledding professionally. Holla if you want to come with.