If George R.R. Martin has taught me anything over the past 3000+ pages, it is that winter is coming. This morning proved that with an icy clarity that my brain is not quite ready to accept; this gorgeous fall seems to have succumbed to frosty mornings that require warming up the car and major bundling up of the kiddo. It smells like woodsmoke in our neighborhood & peppermint mocha coffees are going to be the death of my weekly food budget. As ready as I am for the holiday season, I am not really ready for Winter.
We are usually lucky here in the Midcoast, receiving less snow & fewer frigid days than the rest of Maine and the Northeast, but winter is still a cold, icy, windy season that I only enjoy temporarily. I'm looking forward to getting Natalie out for some real playtime in the snow this year--snowmen! sledding! snowshoes! frozen bubbles! snow angels! snow painting!--but the reality remains that winter means more time cooped up inside than this little family has grown accustomed. Like most toddlers, Natalie is all about doing & seeing & exploring. She loves trucks & trains & rocks & leaves & birds. Her time outside is spent running free in pure joy, discovering new things and exclaiming in excitement over things she recognizes (Trees! Seagull! Mr. Wes!). It breaks my heart a little bit that she won't have as much of that carefree time outside in the coming months.
Selfishly, I also know that winter playtime with Natalie is going to mean more work for me as a parent. It won't be as simple as going to the beach, climbing at the playground, or playing chase in the backyard. Her curiosity isn't going anywhere, but the ways and places to satisfy it are shrinking a bit. I've been going a little nutso on Pinterest as a result, trying to keep track of new ways to challenge that hungry little brain that will make our cozy winter days at home together fun. The coming season will be a learning experience for both of us, it seems.