This past weekend, we went with some friends to a local “snow mountain.” Don’t be fooled by the name. As grandiose as it sounds, this particular snow mountain was a pile of snow sitting in a fenced off section of a parking lot. As we’re in Florida, it was melting fairly quickly. They seemed to have enough snow to last the day, but I was glad we were there before noon.
The rest of the parking lot was filled with lines of people waiting for various things. There was the line for taking pictures with Santa, the line for getting cocoa, the line for getting tickets to go to the snow, the line to get into the snow, and a few other lines whose purpose I never quite figured out.
In and around these lines, there were little streams of water running from the “snow mountain” to the parking lot drains.
After our brief time in the snow, we joined the line for cocoa. It should be said that I’m not the best “line” person. I get bored fairly quickly and like to try to liven things up a bit. When I’m with a group of people, this means that I’m the one who gets sent to go keep the kids busy while the adults wait in line.
There were three kids with us: C, N, and Samantha (our friends’ 3 year old daughter). C was still recovering from being sick the previous weekend and was sleeping on his momma’s hip.
That left me with two kids, one line-filled field of pavement, and lots and lots of ice cold puddles.
Naturally, we went straight for the water. It took a few tries to convince Samantha that yes, it was okay to splash, but then she and N set about running back and forth splashing their feet. The game they came up with was pretty simple. I stood by the biggest puddle. They ran about 10 feet away, turned, and then ran straight through it, splashing their feet as much as possible. I applauded.
Soon other kids joined in, all adding their own particular twist to things. We had about 7 kids, all told, ranging in age from N (18 months) to about 12 years old. I like to think we made a pretty good spectacle of ourselves – and had a great time doing it. After a little while, I noticed that J and company had made it to the front of the line. We said goodbye to our new splash friends and ran over for cocoa.
That’s when I heard the first gasp, followed by an outraged “What are you doing?” and a stern “Your feet are all wet!” and then the ultimate insult: “We do not splash!”
The kids were taken completely by surprise. They pointed over to me, stammering out their “but…but…”s, and I tried to go over to offer up some defense, but their parents were having none of it. They whisked their kids away so quickly I don’t think they even saw me. I feel bad about getting those kids in trouble. The dirty looks from some of the spectators certainly showed what they thought as well. In my defense, I never dreamed that the kids would get in trouble for splashing in the water.
Yes, I realize that I’m not always the best influence on kids, but this one really baffles me.
They were there to play in the snow – the snow.
How could you expect kids to keep their feet dry while playing in a big mound of melting snow?