What I feel like saying…
A child’s joy.
When my sons were enjoying themselves in the thick fluffy snow in China… It was minus 25 degrees, the coldest any of us have ever experienced…but the looks on their faces were priceless (actually hidden beneath their ski masks but the jubilant squeals and laughters were my gauge on their ecstacy).
It has been their dream to experience snow and I’m thankful that I’m able to fulfil it for them.
I’ve experienced snow before and I love it!!
(But not a fan of the cold 🙂
I observed them playing amidst the chilling wind. The cold were making our faces (the only part uncovered) numb that we have to cover them up with thick masks.
But they love the outdoor and begged me for more hours (we were in the open for 2 hours, just goofing around in the thick snow (not moist enough for snowman and snow balls, though).
I’ve been in and out of Europe for almost more than a decade but I’ve always waited for my step dad to bring us to snowy places (because I reckon he will be our expert to guide us) But I forgot how he dislike snow. And where he stayed, is not really a “snowy place” .
Eventually I grew tired of waiting. I waited because I’m not an “expert” in winter, and I fear that I might not be able to protect my kids.
Living in sunshiny Asia, where its summer all year round, I fear my skin was too thin and I myself might freeze or get frost bite.
Eventually, I dig further, listing my fears of the unknown.
Normally the mystery of the unknown were the factor that kept me travel. Its what feeds my curiosity. But with my kids, I became blinded by my own illusions of fears (cos I wanna protect them).
Since mom’s departure, I felt like life was not as lengthy as I wanted it to be. And I decided to fulfil my kids dreams ASAP. I wanted to be there and witness the joys on their faces.
It was the end of their vacation, December. And not many places were snowing at that moment. I didn’t want to go places where the snow “might” happen. I wanted to go to a place which DEFINITELY has tons of snow.
And Harbin was definitely the place. It’s the closest I can find that was easy to travel to (without applying visa etc)
I’ve been to wintry places but the coldest was only minus 5.
This one was minus 25 degrees Celsius. Though I thought I was prepared by reading comments and blogs of others from my sunshiny countrymen, I wasn’t truly prepared.
The cold can be felt gnawing through my bones even in the airport alone.
I noticed many locals stopped to change into their winter clothes before getting out of the airport. We too followed suit. But we were not as fully covered as we thought we were.
But lucky for us (I “cheat” a bit) , I took a cab (instead of the local bus with queues) and soon it transported us to the hotel we booked.
We added more layers to our attire. But night was even colder. And we had to feed ourselves thru out our city “exploration” continuously to warm our bodies.
By second day, we were adapting to the new weather. The cold slippery ground, no longer bothered us. The wind no longer bit us. We rejoiced in the snow. Falling onto heaps of them like it was our own fluffy bed.
And making angels in the snow. We crawled, rolled, swim, jumped, danced. The only thing we couldn’t do was making snowmen. The snow was “too dry”.
Not moist enough for us to make them into any shapes or even small balls. We tried. So did many. But, no biggie… We came for the snow. And that was a miracle for us and we were grateful.
Though there weren’t any snowmen around, there were tons of amazing wonderful ice sculptured done by professionals. They were preparing for the biggest ice show.
It was truly spectacular (We get to witness some of these artist at work on the streets in their passion).
I became the child that I wanted to see in my kids. I sent my kids to go skiing while I spent moments alone watching my present moment.
Basking in such gifted moments with such joyous fun.
When we were truly enjoying every moment, all worries dissipate. No future planning, no doubts, no ego fighting, or people judging. Just me and my present moment.
I am proud of the mother I am. I felt that I am bold and courageous to travel solo but when I travel with my kids, I tend to get overprotective and second guessing my every ability to handle us all (even forgetting that the Divine watches over us.)
In spite of all these worrying of minus 25 degrees, we actually handled ourselves, well.
We worked as a team, we communicate, we delegate, we also put extra layers of clothes in bags, snacks, hot water tumbler, hot patches and many more.
I was afraid of frostbite but I’m proud to be well prepared with thick snowy socks, boots and even masks and gloves (even though I took an easy way – I hired a driver. But everywhere from the parks or tourists spots to the car park was cold enough to make me blue).
Harbin also has everything we needed and it’s much cheaper than buying stuff back home.
Till this day, whenever I’m down, I looked back and remembered these moments when we were all kids, enjoying the snow like there was no tomorrow. There was no mother and sons. We were a bunch of kids having fun. It was truly memorable.
I remembered when my mom and I experienced our first snow.
(I prayed in Ramadan 2000 for white Syawal in Holland and it came true. I was told it has been 20 years since that part of Holland was snowing. That one day it snowed, I came out rushing in my baju kurung, dancing without a care while neighbours watched :))
She and me were like kids, frolicking and rolling in the snow without a care. We build snowmen together. Borrowed a wagon sled and played in the forest.
I kept a ball of snow in my jacket thru out the day. It was a fantabulous time.)
What joyous experience do you remember that brought such immense happyness to your heart that makes you feel warm all over?
And remember, don’t wait for time, anyone or anything to fulfill your dreams (the right time to do it, is always now).
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