My girls love the movie Frozen. They sing the catchy songs. They play dress up. They act out their own fanfic. But, when they play, are they Elsa and Anna? They are not. They are Elsa and Olaf. Because Indy has become obsessed with snow.
The last time Indy experienced a real winter, she was a year and a half old. Stylish remembers building snow forts and sledding, but Indy was too little that year to do much more than get toted around in a fluffy pink snowsuit. And she resents it.
“Mom, the next time we visit Canada, can we see snow?” Indy posed the question over breakfast.
I swallowed a bite of toast to stall. “We can try,” I said. “We’ll definitely be home for winter sometime. Just probably not this year.”
“Because there was no snow when we went there last time,” she said accusingly. “It was hot.”
“It was June,” I said for what felt like the thousandth time. “That’s summertime in Canada. I told you before we went there wouldn’t be snow – you just didn’t want to believe me.”
“I wanted snow,” she grumbled into her cornflakes.
This is where the rubber of I Like To Make My Kids Happy meets the road of I Hate Winter Because Being Cold Stinks. I can’t relate to her snow dreams. Yes, snow is beautiful. And I’d love winter if it were a two-week-long country-wide holiday, with ice skating, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and free hot chocolate on every corner. No icy roads, no shovelling, no -30 C days, no cold fingers and toes. Alas. But Indy doesn’t know any of that – all she knows is that snow looks like fun, and she is being denied that fun.
Indy is not one to be denied.
So she has been busy making her own winter. The Olaf costume. Little paper snowflakes. Playdough snowmen. And she asks, and asks, and asks: when can we go see snow?
“How about at Christmas?” she asks.
“Sorry, I checked – it would cost a fortune to fly home.”
“Well, then maybe we can go to New Zealand. They have snow on the mountains.”
“Maybe,” I say.
“When you say ‘maybe’, you always mean ‘no’.”
Busted. Time to shift the conversation. “Don’t you like the warm weather? We get to go snorkeling, see turtles and fish…”
“Mom. I get to do that all the time. I want to play in the snow.”
“How about you just play with the frost in the freezer?” jokes Stylish.
“Stylish,” says Indy severely. “You can’t leave the lid open. That would kill the batteries.”
“Sweetheart,” I break in, “we’re just too close to the equator. You’ll have to wait for snow.”
“There has to be snow around here somewhere. Does Noumea have an ice skating rink?”
I try to picture a New Caledonian hockey team. “No, afraid not.”
“Are you sure? Adelaide had a skating risk.”
“I know,” I say. “And that remains one of life’s great mysteries. They don’t skate here.”
“And there is no snow on these mountains,” mutters Indy. She makes a face. “I am going to find snow somewhere. I will.”
I hope that, when the time comes, Indy loves real snow as much as the snow in her imagination. Who knows – maybe she will devote her life to extreme snowboarding or high-latitude search-and-rescue.
As for me, I’m going to enjoy the heat. Any day I don’t have to scrape ice off the boat is a good day.
|These days will come again.|