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Published January 18, 2011, 12:00 AM

Parenting Perspectives: Winter memory etched in snow

It seems our family’s favorite outdoor memories come from times when someone’s left some skin on the ground, a sacrifice to Mother Nature who likes to remind us that we can enjoy her woods, her rivers and lakes and even her snow-covered hills, but we should never get too comfortable.

By: Devlyn Brooks, INFORUM

It seems our family’s favorite outdoor memories come from times when someone’s left some skin on the ground, a sacrifice to Mother Nature who likes to remind us that we can enjoy her woods, her rivers and lakes and even her snow-covered hills, but we should never get too comfortable.

Of all our adventures this winter, the most memorable will be the train-wreck plunge sledding down the snow-covered dike that left my son’s face bloodied but his spirit unfazed.

The trip was a Cub Scout outing, and surprisingly the group hadn’t suffered one injury until just about the end of the night when the Bug made his infamous run.

As kids will do, he’d gradually tried more challenging runs, until ultimately he forsake the boring, predictable paths for the adrenaline-producing mogul run that must have been created by older snowboarders looking for a challenge.

He’d already attempted the run a few times with varying success, but never hit the final bump in the way it was meant to produce some major air.

So with about 15 minutes left, he again plunged down the hill, but by the mid-point of the run the sled had turned on him, putting him in a position to hit the jump sideways.

Reaching the end, he rocketed over the jump and came separated from his tube, losing any cushion between him and the ice-covered landing hill on the other side. In what seemed liked slow motion, he smacked face-first into the landing bump and crumpled into the pit below.

Before I had time to react, however, he jumped up, looked up the hill and shouted merrily, “My nose is bleeding!”

“Does it hurt?” I asked.

“No,” he answered.

“Well, then, rub some dirt on it and get back up here,” I shouted, using the same line I use when either of the kids get hurt and I want to make them to laugh.

When he arrived at the top, he pulled down his scarf and flashed me a wide smile through his blood-smeared nose, lips and cheeks. The cold had already done much to staunch the flow, but there was still considerable crimson running out those nostrils.

“Ooh,” I said, trying not to let my reaction rattle him. “Sure it doesn’t hurt?”

“Nope,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

“All right … I guess you can either go inside the warming house and bleed some more or go sledding and let it freeze. Your choice.”

He managed to get out a “Bye, Dad!” before plunging down the hill again, leaving us with another indelible outdoor memory in which Mother Nature reminded us not to get too cocky.


Devlyn Brooks works for Forum Communications Co. He lives in Moorhead with his two sons.

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