On the 30th we received an email from the mom one of Zip's classmates inviting us to a "Noon Year's Eve" sledding party. I love events that build community and bring people together in a really positive way. This idea is so simple, so easy, and wonderfully fun. I couldn't wait to share it with you!
We don't usually have snow around here in December, but an inch or two fell last week. The momma who planned this get-together sent a very last-minute email to twenty or so families: Meet at the high school at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow (Dec. 31st) to ring in the New Year family-style with sledding and hot cocoa. And the more the merrier - she encouraged everyone to "spread the word" to anyone who didn't receive her initial email.
Families arrived, sleds in hand. I hadn't been sledding in ages! The last time I can remember was when Zip was just a toddler. Is there anything like whizzing down a hill hoping you don't crash into the kids below, with cold wind in your face and one of your favorite kids in your lap? Wheeeeee! Also, pulling a 35-pound toddler back up the hill is a great workout. Zip was really excited to see his friends and Bee took to sledding like a fish to water. He would go spinning around backward on his little saucer and I'd brace myself for the tears, but he'd reach the bottom with a huge grin on his face, ready to go again. The kids couldn't care less than grass was poking up out of the snow!
Hot cocoa was waiting for them at the bottom, for a Noon Year's Eve toast.
There were a couple of families we knew at the party and a lot of families we didn't. We met some great people, mostly parents whose kids go to school with Zip. The more people I meet over time, the more familiar faces I see when we are out and about, whether at the grocery store or at a school event. Sometimes it surprises me how many people I know now, when a few years ago it seemed every face here was a strange one! Familiar faces make me feel like I'm part of the local community and it makes our town really feel like "home." A handful of the moms I met at the sledding party were "transplants" from out-of-state, like me. Living in a town where so many of the residents were born and raised, I love meeting fellow transplants.
We had to drag the boys home for lunch (take-out pizza, yum!). It gave me warm, happy, end-of-2012 fuzzies that we spent some quality time together as a family before wrapping up the year and that we made some new friends in the process! New Years is over for now, but as long as you've got snow and hot cocoa you can still pull off an impromptu sledding party. This could also make a great birthday party idea, if you have a winter baby. I'm tucking it away in my mental Rolodex for when Bee gets a little older!