Last year I took our oldest son sledding and it terrified him. (He was two at the time.) For some reason sledding down the hill -- even with me on the sled with him -- scared him to death. I was a little disappointed because it was an activity I really wanted to do with him. What a difference a year makes.
Last week, when the first snow fell, he was so excited to play in it. After tromping around the yard for a bit I asked him if he wanted to go sledding. He said "YES!"
As we approached the hill, I could see that the concerns and fears that were with him last year were returning. When we reached the top, I sat on the sled and told him to sit on my lap. He took a step back and shaking his head.
"You go first," he said. "I'll watch."
Knowing that watching Dad sled wasn't going to do anything to encourage him to have fun, I grabbed him, sat him on my lap, and down the hill we went with him screaming all the way down.
When we reached the bottom and he must have finally realized that sledding wasn't going to kill him. He stood up, grabbed my hand, and told me we needed to do it again.
The second time he gladly sat on my lap and laughed as we raced down the hill.
We spent an hour sledding and I had to convince him that it was time to go home.
Right now he's napping. There is five inches of fresh snow on the ground. More is falling from the heavens. I know when he wakes up, he's going to look out his window, see the new snow, and watch all the kids sledding down the hill. He's going to run down the stairs and ask if we can go sledding.
I'm going to say "YES!"