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Stories, observations, and reflections from a life of raising boys

How Wintertime Is Different With Kids

Jenifer DeMattia

When I was a young girl, there was nothing more exciting than a good snowstorm. Not only did I get off school, but the neighborhood kids and I could walk across our street to the huge hill down the road. We would build ramps that would send us flying until we landed on the hard snow, pounded down by hours of pressure. We would sled until the grass and dirt below poked through – until our fingers were so frozen they could barely bend. We built snow forts and made trails. Even when a snowball hit me in the face and slid down between my eye and my glasses, I stayed out. I couldn’t feel my feet, but I never wanted to go inside. Just the icy chill of winter was invigorating to me as a kid. I remember crunching my feet on the frozen ground, and cracking the ice with the heel of my shoe.

But mostly I remember loving a good snow day because I got to spend time with my mom. She was a single mom and worked all the time – but not when we got snowed in. That is truly what I remember. My sister and I would play in the yard and come in for some hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls. We would throw the pieces of snow that flew from our layers upon layers of clothes on top of the wood stove and watch them sizzle away. The same applied when it would snow at my dad’s house or become too cold for him to go to work. We would go sledding together until the sun went down. And in the silence of the snow, as we walked back toward home, I remember feeling the warmth of my dad’s company. It felt so good just to be next to him.

Now that I’m grown up and have children of my own, the onset of cold weather brings different feelings. It means snotty noses, sickness and germs, taking an hour to get them dressed and spending three minutes actually outside. It means running out to warm up the car on a freezing morning. Sledding with my children, but freaking out the whole time that they’re going to get hurt. Telling them, “No way” when they want to build ramps, and the frustration that comes every time my son refuses to keep his hat and gloves on. Winter can make you go a little crazy with children – confined to the indoors when the weather is too much to take. I can get lost in it, and I can find myself wishing for warmer weather to come faster and the sun to set later in the day.

But earlier today I was reminded of something very important. With the anticipation of snow,  I joined the mad rush of people at the grocery store to stock up as usual. After grabbing the standard milk, bread, and toilet paper, I looked over and saw the section with Pillsbury™ Grands! Cinnamon Rolls – there were only two packages left. There are only a few things from my childhood that I remember making me feel a certain way. My mom would have the hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls with icing ready after my sister and I came in from the snow. And when she didn’t have them, we were so disappointed. So of course I bought them as a treat to warm us up when my kids and I returned home from our own snowy adventure. Not a bad way to feel like a kid again.

I have to remember when I feel the icy wind hit my face that there is warmth to be found. Wintertime means I get bonus time with my children. That I get to see the joy on their faces as they experience things like sledding for the first time, followed up with some Pillsbury™ Grands! Cinnamon Rolls. Whether there’s snow on the ground or just on a frigid day, I can snuggle with them under the blanket with a good cartoon and run my fingers through their soft hair. The cold weather is a reminder to slow down in life – to take time and be with the people who warm our hearts the most.


“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by General Mills through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Pillsbury™ Grands! Cinnamon Rolls, all opinions are my own.”