Sledding is a blast in part because it’s just a little bit dangerous.
Today, the hill at Olbrich Park was well worn, pock marked and icy. Half of our 11 kids stayed on the steep part of the hill, while the other half stayed on the gentler side. After one run down the steep side, I too stayed on the gentler side. I felt pretty shook up. So did Rachelle. “That was freaky”, she said. I had to coax her back on her sled on the gentler side after that first bumpy run. Once she did, she shouted, “Let’s do it again!” That was music to my ears.
Sledding is a creative sport. We made trains with two and three sleds. Kids went down backwards. They doubled up on sleds. They tried going face first, feet first and while standing on their feet like a snow boarder. They were having a great time. It really was a perfect day for sledding with temps in the 20s and a light breeze. Everything was going great until after about 40 minutes.
Suddenly, Margerie shouted, “Jean’s hurt.” Sure enough, Jean, a very hardy first grader, was crying. I ran over and brought her back up to the top of the hill. She had hit a bump hard and bit her lip. Snot and blood was pouring out of her nose and her lip was bloody too. We quickly got her cleaned up and soon she was back on the slopes.
I should have taken this cue and left then. Soon after, Sarah was crying and soon after that, Jean was crying again.
There is a skill to knowing when it’s time to leave. Sometimes I hit it perfect and other times not. It’s always better to leave them wanting for more, then to overstay a visit.
On the bright side, we went back to the Center and had hot cocoa and cookies. That certainly perked Jean up and helped Sarah feel better. Sarah got a pretty good bonk on the forehead.
I always feel bad when kids get hurt on events like this because I think that they wont go sledding again. However, I have to remember how many times I’ve been hurt while sledding and other sports and how that after awhile, you forget the hurts and only remember the fun. Plus, it’s good for kids to learn that a bump or bruise will not kill them. Bumps and bruises happen. It’s part of life. Sledding, like life, isn’t danger free.
Overall, we had a blast sledding. The sledding was fast and great and the kids were great. No one really got hurt… it was just the normal bumps and bruises that sometimes comes with having fun.