Happily, the call I got at 5.30am Tuesday from Charlie's school was for a 'delayed opening' rather than an all-out snow day. School started at 10.45am; after Jim and I had shoveled and scraped away the icy snow and slush, Jim drove Charlie off at a quarter after 9am. They were very early (even with the delayed opening) so they got bagels and drove around here and there and a relieved Charlie went into school.
If you've still got a snow day where you are, total sympathy, plus. I'd like to say that unexpected days off are easier for Charlie now than in the past. I think he knows what 'snow day' means and, after last winter's series (a rather epic-feeling one, at that) of snow days, Jim and I have a very good idea of how to plot out the day to help Charlie get through it. Nonetheless, slogging through a day when you're unexpectedly thrown together and when you often can't do much outside for long periods can be challenging.
We did use to take Charlie sledding. I do think he enjoyed the thrill of going faaaaasssttttt!! down a hill. But sledding always ended up being one of those activities in which Jim and I put in about 92% of the physical effort: dragging the sled up the hill, getting Charlie to sit on it, getting Charlie to place his hands and feet in the right spot, worrying about Charlie falling off the sled with resulting 'upsetment,' worrying about Charlie pitching off the sled into the snow with more 'upsetment,' worrying about Charlie colliding with another sledder/s due to his being unable to steer the slide. Not to mention the soggy, cold, wet trek back to our car.
I'm feeling in need of some hot chocolate at the thought of it. Except, Charlie never showed an interest in such, hot liquids not being to his (sensory) liking.
I guess I sound like a killjoy! Jim did often sit behind Charlie to help with the steering. But thinking about our something more like misadventures in sledding reminds me that often, as parents of kids with disabilities, we have to put out 92% plus effort. And then, quite often, all the things about some activity that parents of typical/not-disabled kids speak glowingly about ('sledding was so much fun, we've got to do it again soon as the next snow day!'), are things that have the whiff of 'ordeal we barely got through in one piece' about them for us. Which is not to say I'm not glad that we did try things like sledding.
But I am rather glad we can say we did them, and have, as Charlie has gotten older, focused more and more on the things that he is inclined to do such as, you guessed it, bike-riding. Riding bikes has indeed become a 'sport that knows no season' around here. The yellow jackets and super super warm gloves have made a huge difference. Jim and I have also become quite adept at loading the bikes on and off the rack on our car very quickly. In full belief of 'division of labors,' it's become my job to put the bikes safely away in the shed in our back yard after rides: Jim is doing all the bike riding with Charlie (not to mention the driving). Yes, we do want Charlie eventually to help out putting away the bikes, but at this time we're pleased enough that he rides uncomplainingly in quite cold temperatures.
Of course, icy slush and snow make bike-riding conditions treacherous so I don't know when Jim and Charlie will be back on their bikes (but you know us.....). Yesterday Charlie and I did a walk around the neighborhood instead. He has definitely been far less interested in walking than bike-riding and this walk occurred in the evening, after Charlie had said 'no walk, no walk' earlier. We definitely take the 'just biding our time' strategy now: Charlie is 13 going on 14 and he needs to assert himself.
Too-- due perhaps to years and years of taking an ABA 'do this---then you'll have this' approach---we used always to insist that Charlie do something we wanted him to do, before something that (we opined) he wanted, like a ride in the car or some such. In the past year, we have been doing the opposite and while, on the one hand, we stand to be charged with 'just letting him do whatever he wants,' the result has often been that Charlie doesn't seem to feel that he constantly has to do X to get Y, and just comes around to asking for X (the walk, last night) on his own.
I only hope he doesn't ask to go sledding, as the sled got 'recycled' in the last town-wide clean-out-your-basement pick-up last fall.
But, if Charlie really wanted to, we could get a new sled (Target is never far away). A growing-up boy would need a bigger one than we used to have, anyway.
And maybe he might want some hot chocolate, too.