We vowed to purchase snowshoes for ourselves "one of these winters" but had a couple of very dry, snowless winters after that year. We got married, bought a house, had some kids and voila: the memory that we liked snowshoeing became just that, a memory.
Until today. We were planning a winter hike at the nature center this morning with the kids (now almost 5 and 2 1/2) when it hit me: didn't we used to like snowshoeing? Maybe Jackson is old enough to try a child-sized pair of snowshoes? Couldn't we carry Amelia along for the ride? So we switched gears, rented some snowshoes and tried it.
I was most nervous when Jackson first got his snowshoes strapped on because the first impression is all it takes to make something golden or horrid in his mind. All or nothing. If it doesn't work the first time, he's rarely willing to have a second go.
I was fidgeting and strapping/re-strapping his boots onto the snowshoe and getting ready to explain that 1.) his feet would feel funny, 2.) he shouldn't step on his snowshoes or he'll fall over, and 3.) taking wider steps is a good idea at first. But he took off as soon as they were strapped on and bounded onto a snowbank exclaiming "You were right, Mom! I'm not sinking!" (I had talked about how snowshoes work off and on, so apparently he just wanted to test this theory himself.)
With that "hurdle" out of the way, we happily headed out to the prairie with our rented snowshoes on a gloriously sunny and bright winter morning and really just had a great time.*