I don't know how we'll try to keep our kids from avoiding this pitfall. Maybe we can send them to boarding school in Minnesota or something. Lord knows it's too late for us now, since we've lived here for nearly ten years and get shivery and weepy when we visit family in Virginia, which really isn't even very cold. But our children still have a chance.
In the interest of introducing the girls to the idea of winter, my wife and I took them to a temporary glacier in a suburban recreation area over the weekend. They had trucked in 55 tons of snow from God-knows-where and created a little sledding hill and play area.
No one I talked to knew where the snow had come from, but it looked machine-made to me. Still, the temperature has to be below freezing to make snow, so even though it had gotten down into the unseasonably cold lower 50s recently, they would have had to create the icy slush in some huge refrigerated warehouse.
The bustling event was supposed to be the site for an Asian Mommies meetup, but we only found a couple group members there amid the chaos of the snow pile, bouncy houses, pony rides, etc., etc. It didn't help that many of the Asian Mommies that were supposed to show up were people I had never met or had only met once or twice, and that this particular suburb happens to be teeming with Asian families. So I spent a good deal of time staring at Asian women, trying to figure out if I had met them or at least seen their profile pictures on our group's website. I'm sure no one found this creepy.
The girls had fun digging around in the snow, and we even took a few runs on a sled that someone handed us. But I don't think they really got a sense of how a real winter gets a harrowing grip on your soul, which, when released, makes springtime all the sweeter. We'll work on that more next year.
The other creepy thing I did while we were at the winter wonderland was to take pictures of people's feet. Footwear says so much about a person, and the way Californians prepare their feet for snow reveals the diversity of misapprehensions they have about this foreign substance. The classic SoCal winter look is shorts or a mini-skirt with Ugg boots (those amorphous high-top shearling slippers), but I didn't take pictures of any of the 16-year-old girls rocking that look because I didn't want to get beat up by their dads.
So this is what I got:
|Full-on winter boots.|
|Stopped by the glacier on the way to get some gas for the lawnmower.|
|If this were Northern Cali, he would have at least busted out the wool socks.|
|She also wore a coat that matched her mukluks. I think the whole ensemble was made of extremely rare black reindeer hide.|
|Now that's what I'm talking about--sandals with socks. This was somebody's Asian grandpa.|
|Ahh. 9-hole Doc Martens. Rugged, stylish--just the thing for seventy degrees and light snow.|