Being a Dadlete is not a part-time endeavor. There is no off-season for us; no mere weekend warriors are we! Whether it’s sunny and warm or bitter god damn cold outside, we suit up and get on the field.
And right now it is damn cold out!
It’s so cold out that whenever a blast of the arctic hits me square in the jaw, I can’t help but think of the cartoon sadly proclaiming “The air hurts my face…Why am I living where the air hurts my face?” It’s a good question that I don’t really have a good answer to. Like any dedicated athlete, I just do my best to stay warm.
Proper apparel is crucial for a Dadlete and his ragtag team of adorable miscreants, especially during the winter. My kids love to go outside and play in the snow. Well, Penny loves it and will keep me out there all day. I’m pretty sure Simon just wants an excuse to drink hot cocoa. Either way, both of them need to be bundled up. Two pairs of socks, long johns, pants, snow pants, approximately 12 shirts of varying lengths and weights, a coat, hat, scarf, mittens, and the inevitable….SERIOUSLY!? WHY DIDN’T YOU PEE BEFORE!!!??? With the just as inevitable “Because I didn’t have to go then!”
So the process begins again.
In my college days, I could go an entire Ithaca winter in pretty much just a hoodie. These days, in my old age, the weather effects me more. I feel the frost down to my bones and the wind chill makes my joints rattle. Gone are the glories of my youth, but with each passing year I become a more seasoned veteran Dadlete. My step may have slowed, but my mind has, well, actually that’s gotten a little slower, too. Hopefully, the kids won’t notice.
I have to bundle up nearly as much as my children–I’ll try to remember to pee first–and a hoodie is definitely still one of those crucial layers. Luckily, Russell recently sent me my new favorite sweatshirt. The gray and maroon zip-up immediately felt like something I had owned for 20 years as soon as I put it; so warm and cozy. But Russell added a few details that my old sweatshirts didn’t have: a slot in one of the mesh lined-pockets to weave my earbud wire through, moisture-wicking technology, and, this is going to sound weird, but really nice caps on the hoodstrings. Seriously. They’re not the crappy plastic ones that break after three washes; I think they’re rubber or something. Upgrade! Also, it’s machine washable. Dadletes don’t have time to hand wash.
A photo posted by Dave Lesser (@professional_dad) on
With our gear on, the squad is ready to head out.
Do we have to? Yes? Ugh. Okay, fine. Let’s do this thing!
As expected, Simon is back home with his mom (who hates the cold as much as she loves her children) in about five minutes. Like when he asks if he’s eaten enough dinner to warrant dessert, he’s sure that his time outside grants him an inalienable right to a treat. In this case, there is no ensuing battle of wills. No matter how short the game, hot chocolate is the mandatory participation trophy of snow days. Say what you will, everyone gets a participation trophy around here. At least when it comes in a mug and is topped with mini-marshmallows.
For Penny, winter is an endurance sport and we’re not going inside yet.
Now? Uh uh.
How about now?
Nope. Not until her face is pink, her lips are blue and her fingers and toes are in imminent danger of falling off. Then, it’s a mad dash to the house because she’s suddenly FAH-REEEEEZING!!!!, a quick strip of wet clothes, on with warm dry ones, under a cover or two and, of course, the requisite cocoa.
I strip most of my clothes off, too. Then I put my Russell Athletics hoodie back on and maybe pour something special in my cocoa. (Coffee, I’m talking about coffee.)
I’m not a huge fan of winter and I don’t like going outside in the snow. Let me be clear: I don’t like going outside in the snow but I love being outside in the snow…with my kids. No matter what games I play with them–no matter how frigid the temperature–we all come in first place.
Especially when we come back in. It is really friggin’ cold out there, dude!