Monday, January 19, 2009

snowshoeing with Santa Klaus and the Easter Bunny

I went snow-shoeing with my Mother-in-law today which was beautiful!
about a quarter of the way through our trip I, in characteristic fashion said "How much farther are we going to go? I only ask because I can already feel my calves burning and I would like to be able to walk tomorrow..."

We kept going "Just up to the next bend" and so by the time we finally stopped we decided to swap snowshoes to see if ME's pair was lighter than mine (She had been holding out on me just in case anyone was wondering...they were way lighter).

We were following a well traveled, very packed trail our entire way up the river and so I was shocked when as soon as I took my first snow shoe off my foot went right through the snow almost up to my knee. I honestly thought maybe I'd just hit a funny spot and was equally suprised when the same thing happened with the next foot.
We joked about how deceptive snow can be and as I began heading back the way we had come ME (Mary Ellen, for anyone who doesn't know) went on in the original direction to take a few more pictures, promising to catch up with me.

As I began walking I started thinking about how snow is not the only deceptive thing in the world, my mommy brain got going and I started wondering what other, bigger deceptive things my daughter will have to face.
For some reason the first thing that came to mind were all the blog posts I read this holiday season, almost every mom I knew had one, about whether or not to let their child believe in Santa Klaus and the Easter Bunny...should they believe, for how long, what are the long term ramifications of lying to your child, etc...etc...
Putting those questions in the context of this deceptive snow really got me thinking.
Santa Klaus is in effect very similar to this deceptively deep snow...and yet if I lived my life trying to stay away from all things deceptive for fear that they would hurt me, in one way or another, I never would have had this beautiful experience today.
Becuase someone created this fabulous instruments, snowshoes, I can use something otherwise deceptive to become a thing of beauty, and experience of beauty. ME and I were discussing how, without braving this deception these are areas no one would ever see, there is just no other way to go up a raging river at the bottom of a steep ravine.

So...what will I do about Santa Klaus? Well I think he's sort of like the snow shoes...not to mix the analgy too much. I think he can be used, wisely and carefully, to make an already beautiful holiday a bit more fun...I think Santa Klaus should never be the bearer of any life altering or much desired gifts, I think Santa Klaus should not be widely talked about or praised...but I also don't want Esme being the child who says to another no you can't walk in that snow...Santa Klaus doesn't exist...
I think there is a way to present these joyful childhood experiences while keeping them from being work in this tradition as a thing that adds to the beauty of the experience.


  1. I love this post because 1. I really want to try snowshoeing! I haven't yet, though. Do you think I could do it with Enzo on my back?, and 2. I appreciate your thoughts on Santa. For us, we talk about Santa just the same way we talk about fairies and other characters- he's cool and fun, but we don't make a huge deal either way (he doesn't see you when your sleeping or know when you're awake but he also is not the devil). It's funny, though, because Atticus likes to talk about Santa and hear stories about him, but we honestly tell him who his gifts are from. So a couple days after Christmas, a few people asked him, "Did Santa come to your house?" "not yet," Atticus would reply. (-:

  2. I love Atticus' reply.
    I definitely think you could snowshoe with Atticus on your back...I was thinking about that while I was walking.
    I would ensure for your first time if you choose to do it that way you go somewhere well travelled and not in extremely deep could get very tiring very fast with the extra weight on both ends.

  3. I definitely meant with Enzo on your back...oops.
    Atticus might be a bit much :)

  4. Yes- I'm hoping Atticus could do it alongside me, not on my back!