Sunday, December 08, 2002

Snow therapy

It snowed here in the Northeast last week, enough to put a substantive amount of snow on the ground, and I've been noticing how intensely my son enjoys playing in it. Not that it's unusual for a 9-year-old boy to like to play in the snow, but there seems to be an added sensory integration-related component to it for my guy -- something about the texture of the powder, soft and yet firm, and the sharp coldness intense enough to get through to even the hyposensitive. He's less interested in throwing snowballs than in throwing himself down into the stuff, or using his hands to dig through it or scrape at it. The kid is a full-body snow-man, and getting him to school or to church when we have to pass large pristine fields of white on our walking way has been near impossible. Nothing's more important than getting him some of that snow.

I admit that I'm enjoying the snow, too, particularly now that I have a vehicle with four-wheel drive. How great it felt tooling around in the thick of the storm, braving back roads to get to my kids' school when the front ones were parking lots, pulling up just in time! I grew up in California, and snow was never part of my childhood, so I still get kind of a kiddish thrill to see it, all crisp and sparkling and fluffy. But sadly for my son, the last thing I want to do at my advanced age is go out and play in the cold and damp. The sight of snowflakes makes me want to bundle up inside with a big bowl of popcorn and a mug of hot chocolate and watch "Casablanca," or maybe "Return to Me." My son thinks that's a waste of perfectly good snow-playing time, but hey -- we all have our own sensory needs, and mine is to not be wet and freezing.

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