when dusk is too bright in the frosty sandbox

I wrestled NK into her snowsuit today, and we walked across the street to our park.

It was below freezing, and the sun was just hanging over the trees, but the sky was clear.  And my Swedish child, suitably stunned, cried “So bright!”

Then we threw our ball in the frost and tried to make a sand fish out of frost and sand.  It did not stick together.  We stomped on ice and ran up and down frozen dirt piles.

And we were alone, save for an immigrant mom with her two daughters.  Oh, some kids lit fireworks in the trees above.

I thought the Swedish parks would be full all winter.  They are not, making me feel hardy for taking my toddler out into the cold, though not really that cold.

Of course, in Port Jervis, where Norah was born, there were no kids in any park ever.  Summer, winter, spring, fall.  The parks were no go zones apparently, threatening zones of community and non-structured play.  No place for minvans and big screen TVs.

So kids lighting firecrackers and an immigrant family and the steady stream of old people and parents with strollers going through the park.  Well, when I could see it beyond my breath, and beyond the two-year-old pretending to be a lion below me, well, it was paradise.

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