Monday, December 31, 2012

Drowning Buffalo

Every once in a while, when I'm maybe feeling too good about myself, I do something stupid - like go sledding for hours with my children - and then I realize later when I can't get off the couch without making strained noises like a drowning buffalo that I'm maybe getting too old for this sh*&%t.
It snowed good sledding snow for the first time this year so this morning I had the bright idea that instead of taking the kids to a relatively decent-sized hill that was right down the street from us, we'd go to Valley Forge Park, where my dad used to take my sister and I when we were kids. Things went bad almost immediately. We wound our way through the park but the last leg of the road to get up to this particular hill was blocked for some asinine reason. I figured out a way to get as close to the hill as possible by going in through the back of the park and parking at the base. Well, not quite - it was a good quarter-mile hike from the car to the base of the hill - trudging through heavy snow with winds like the kind you see when a helicopter starts up. And as I walked, seeing the hill looming in front of me, I thought "This is gonna suck, this is sooo gonna suck". The hill was even steeper than I remember it being when I was a kid - and that's bass-akwards, isn't it? 'cause usually things you remember as a kid are so much bigger than they actually are. Nope, not for this genius, I've got a seven-year-old & a not-quite four-year-old with me & I'm looking at a 90-freakin-degree angle mountain. But we climb the hill a few times - I am so fat & out of shape at this point in my life that it literally feels like someone is tightening a vise grip around my heart. I again tell myself that I will do something about this soon - New Year's resolutions are right around the corner - and we do a few runs.
The first time Jack and I go down the mountain - and the sled we're on, by the way, is one of those plastic five-dollar K-mart dealies - I am reasonably sure that I will never walk again but, no, once we stop I'm able to gingerly rise to my feet. There are some pretty deep holes scattered all over the slope & there's some rough scrub brush that's poking up out of the snow everywhere. If I had a brain in my head I'd admit that this was another one of my "bad mom moments" and suggest we go home but we did a ten-minute high-wind hike from the car to get here so I'm determined to do a few more runs. Rob goes down once with Kyle and they seem to be ok, so Jack and I take the sled from them and hike back up to the top. Here's where I make my dumbest decision of the day - as I'm gasping for breath at the top of this mountain, Jack starts to beg me to let him go down by himself. I swear I was light-headed from loss of oxygen - I'm an idiot but I'm trying my hardest not to be negligently so - but after he assures me that he'll be fine, I let him go. He makes it three-quarters of the way down the hill before he hits a hole, flies through the air and lands hard, biting into his tongue. Rob looks up at me after running over to Jack and seeing his mouth full of blood and gives me the thumbs-up sign. It is obviously sardonic. He starts walking the boys to the car. We managed three total runs before I f*&%ked it all up. I carefully start picking my way down the slope after them. *sigh*
Later, after we get some lunch, I take the boys out to the hill down the street - it is the perfect height for them - and we sled for an hour. I try, I really do, but in the end let's face it - I'm a bad mom.

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