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Crayons and Stilettos: Snowman failure leads to epic fight

By Tiffany Evans

As parents most of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get our kids involved, how to do things that they will find fun and how to spend quality time with them.

Many of us slave away trying to find a way to provide for our kids every little thing that they could possibly enjoy. I’m not just talking about material things such as toys or the next big game system, but even activities and outings. There are so many “big vacations” that cost literally an arm and a leg.

When the commercials come on, our kids face’s light up. They hear the opening music and slide in front of the television in hopes of getting just a glimpse at whatever part it is that they are the most interested in.

But can I be honest? While it isn’t a fruitless aspiration on the parent’s part, the truth is that our kids don’t need those big and expensive things in order to be happy. Half the time they don’t really even want them, at least not nearly as bad as we think that they do.

As a parent, we are striving to build these long-lasting memories. We want to be able to look back when we are old and relish the moments that we spent with our children. Even more than that, we want our children to look back when they are grown and remember how great a childhood they had. We want to set an example for them of what a parent should be, and how they can take what we teach then and add on to it.

I’m just like you. I want to spend every moment possible with my children, watching their eyes light up as they learn new things, breathing in those moments where their hearts are on fire with enthusiasm.

Can I just be honest? It isn’t about these big crazy things that we come up with. These lasting memories happen in the day-to-day small moments.  The times that they will most remember are when you slept on the couch with them when they were sick. They will hold on to the nightly bedtime stories, and those occasions where you made something just for them for dinner because you knew they did not like the main meal.

Your kids will look back on literally the day-to-day things and remember what a great parent you were.

This week, I had in my mind that I would take the kids outside and we would build the most gigantic snow man EVER. I recalled how when I was a kid my parents made the best snowmen. They would roll huge balls of snow for the body, the base and the head. The mounds of snow seemed so huge to me back then.

In my mind, I had these visions of amazing snow men. A nose made out of a carrot, stick arms, buttons and a black top hat. Yeah, I know, sounds like a movie. As my kids and I ventured into our backyard encased to the brim with gleaming white snow, I thought to myself, “This is the day.”

I was certain there was plenty of snow to build that historical, unforgettable snow man. I pushed mounds of snow together, forcing it to clump. Snowball no. 1 ready to be rolled, I scooped it up from the ground and began to roll it across fresh snow. It fell apart.

What is the problem? I tried again, and again. Each time my snow ball would crumble. Finally, I pushed snow together and made a relatively thin, relatively short mound of snow. I topped it with two more snowballs. There, a snowman. Not hardly what I had imagined.

I stood back and looked at my snowman, not exactly pleased but not disappointed either. My youngest son approached it, gave it a hard look and then knocked it over. What?? He laughs hysterically.

The next thing I know, my eldest son is clumping together small balls of snow and throwing them at me. Oh, I see. this is what they want. Despite envisioning an unforgettable afternoon building and designing the best snowman ever, I found myself enthralled in an unforgettable snowball fight. My husband stood inside taking pictures and recording videos of the boys and me enjoying a wonderful winter game. 

I may not be able to craft a gigantic, movie-worthy snowman, but I can make awesome snowballs. My youngest son quickly pointed out that my snowballs did not fall a part and began scooping them up to throw them back at me. The afternoon may not have gone the way I had planned, but they had fun.

At the root of it all what is really important is my kids know that they are loved. When they are adults and they look back on their childhood, they will remember baking soda volcanoes, finger painting and yes, snowball fights.