Onward Blitzen!

My neck of the wood got hit by the snowpocalypse on Friday, so for three days the girls were trapped inside. Yes, until Sunday afternoon it was too bitter cold for them to go outside. Hell, I thought I might have to go free my doggie if his pee froze and trapped him in a snow bank by the pissicicle connecting his wiener to the ground, that’s how cold it was. I know there are people in Canada laughing at me right now because the temps were in the single digits (not even below zero degrees Fahrenheit, eh?) but it was fokking chilly.

My daughters, trapped with each other, fought a grand total of zero times. There was only one small bicker that spontaneously resolved itself. Sweet Babou and I were amazed. This is NOT how kids dealt with things in the 70s. When we were whipper-snappers our only form of entertainment was giving our siblings grief. But not my girls. I blame their early Montessori training.

On Sunday the temp climbed into the high twenties and my girls begged me to let them go sledding in our front yard. Our house sits on a VERY small rise so there is a gentle slope from our porch to the sidewalk. Thus it was that I got to stand in the snow directing the play of three novice tobogganers. My ass was a glacier hanging off my back after a while, but it was worth it to see their joy.

And joy they had, people.

Once the snow packed down into a “track” it was smooth sailing for the kids. They would just lean forward and swoosh down the lawn at a speed just fast enough to thrill them but slow enough that I didn’t need to freak out. When it wasn’t their turn to go down the slope, they made snow angles in the 10 inches of fresh powder. Shrieks of pleasure and glee echoes throughout the neighborhood as the Fokkerlings softly zoomed the three or four yards to the sidewalk.

They have even named their toboggan. They debated long and hard over dinner that night. They wanted something from the artic or antarctic -- something sleek -- but couldn’t agree on an animal that was both sleek and had a cool-sounding name. Sweet Babou suggested they name it after one of Santa’s reindeer. This was hailed as a brilliant idea by all daughters. However, there needed to be further debate before one name was chosen.

Lilo suggested Comet, but Stitch nixed it based on the fact that Comet was the crappy coach who was mean to Rudolph and encouraged the other deer to be cruel to him also. We all agreed that Comet was too big an asshat to be immortalized in sleigh. After pondering, they asked me what Donner and Blitzen meant. I explained that those were the German words for thunder and lightning. Lightning?


This morning they took advantage of the delayed school schedule to put Blitzen through her (it’s a girl toboggan, apparently) paces down the hill again. The track was icy and away they all flew. Laughing all the way.

I do not doubt that Blitzen will be called into service again this afternoon.


Recent Posts by Betty Fokker


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