Snow Queen

One of my fave bloggers, Nancy Nall, linked to this rather hilarious article about kids who refuse to wear what their parents consider proper winter clothing, you know, when it is cold and snowy outside. I was reading it from a parent’s perspective and nodding my head in sympatico.

I mean, been there done that, don’tcha know? The year one of my children (I won’t say which one) began middle school, she did not OWN a winter jacket. It was not because we couldn’t afford one. It was because we couldn’t find one that she liked. Ordering one from L. L. Bean just didn’t cut it any more. I gave up trying. It was a particularly warm winter and she managed with layers of sweaters and things and looked quite fashionable, to me anyway. When we finally got some truly cold, winter-like weather (during spring break, of course), and she was invited on a ski expotition, I coerced her into taking the inner half of my veddy veddy fashionable (or not) Columbia ski jacket.

This particular kid has always been a furnace. She would drive the GG crazy when, as an infant, he would so very carefully cover her up with blankets and she would immediately kick them off. And there was that first grade winter field trip to Kensington Metropark when she was wearing a ski band and Mr. Browning shamed me into going home and getting her a real hat. She did not change to the hat, despite the near-zero degree temperatures. And there was the time that Marsha of Perrynet came over to tell me about how my 5-year-old child and her friend had taken their shoes off and were running around barefoot in front of the Landfill in 45 degree weather. Kayak Woman is such a good attentive moom, don’tcha know.

But what do you do when you have a spirited child? You pick your battles. That’s what you do. And when they approach the teenage years, you are picking very carefully. It’s like rock-walking. What will happen if I step on that rock? There’s a little water on it. Will I slip? Is it teetery? Am I judging the distance correctly? Teenagers are trying out new values on for size. Who am I and how will I make my way through the world… It’s hard. I am still figuring it out myself. I am not a perfect mother. Sometimes I am a TERRIBLE mother!! Ask my kids. But, in the grand scheme of things, arguing about the little stuff is not productive. Teenage sex and drugs? That is a whole ‘nother topic. And, thank you god or who/whatever (kids, I guess), not one I ever had to deal with.

Anyway. I was reading this article as a parent when a vision of the Young Kayak Woman came into my head. The Young KW was 15 or 16. She was walking across the “tundra” to her high school. The sun was nowhere near up yet. The venue? Sault Ste. Siberia. The temperature? Minus 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes. YKW’s outfit? Mini-skirt, a nice gold wool one that she made herself. Nylons!!! A beauteous faux leopard-skin coat without a whole lot of lining. Not warm. YKW *probably* had boots on. She had some sort of hat on but I’m sure she was worried that the hat would screw up whatever beauteous (or not) hair-do she had managed to concoct with her totally un-ruly hair.

Okay, the YKW got to school safely that day. Her knees were very very cold indeed. And probably her ears and nose and other body parts. But she wasn’t outside for very long, really, and nothing was frostbitten. I’m sure that The Commander was probably holding her tongue, thinking YKW was nuts. In full disclosure, The Commander taught at my high school, so I could’ve probably cadged a ride with her. I can’t remember why I didn’t. Not cool, maybe?

These days, I do not mess with cold weather. I can layer up and down to handle temperatures anywhere from 95 F to 20 below. I bag outdoor activity at about 95. I sometimes bag it at temps under zero just, well, just because. I think that outdoor clothing is better now than it was when I wore that cute little faux leopard coat. And [arguably] more fashionable. At any rate, people are always telling me that they love my black bomber hat with the hologram sequins. If I had just had that thing back in 1970 or whenever…

Stay warm. Love Y’all. The Old Kayak Woman 😉

One Response to “Snow Queen”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Alison doesn’t dress appropriately for the cold in my opinion, but as you noted, why pick that battle? Ashley wears about 10 layers! I hate to be cold, so I always overdress.