Last night was one of those nights. Lovely from start to finish. It started out with Winterlude at St. Vital Park, organized by the girls’ school. Skating, sleigh rides, hot chocolate, and a big roaring fire in the fire pit. (Yes, I know that SOME of you live in climates that are way past the winter sports stage, but this is Winnipeg. We’re still buried in snow with a solid ice skating surface on the duck pond.)

It was the perfect “end of winter” kind of night – with temperatures hovering around 0 celsius (freezing point) – pleasant enough to spend over two hours out of doors without having to chip the ice off your eyelashes. Nikki and Julie disappeared with their friends, Marcel went to do the “good parent” thing (volunteering to help serve hot chocolate, or something like that), and I hung out with Maddie while she skated/shuffled around the duck pond.

After awhile, when she’d had enough with skating, Maddie and I lined up for the sleigh ride. It was magical, sitting on the sleigh, listening to the tinkling bells on the horses’ bridles, watching the children skate on the pond, while Maddie leaned comfortably on me. Straight out of a winter postcard! I breathed deeply when the smell of horses wafted across the air. I felt the old familiar longing to ride again. One of these days, I want to either own a horse again, or at least rent one for awhile. (When I told Marcel later that I liked the smell of horses, he looked at me incredulously and said “you like the smell of horse shit? Yeah, I guess he doesn’t really get it.)

Towards the end of the evening, when most of the kids had grown tired of skating, I left Maddie in Marcel’s care and put on my own skates. With few other people left on the ice, I skated round and round and round the duck pond. It felt SO good. I think I could have done it for hours if Nikki hadn’t found me to report that she had a huge blister on her foot and was hoping I had some solution for her discomfort. (I didn’t, but I had to at least sit with her and offer sympathy.)

When we got home from Winterlude, I ran a hot bath, lit some candles, made myself a cup of chai latte, brought a cd player into the bathroom, and climbed into the tub. I even locked the door and didn’t let any children guilt me into opening it! Aaaahhhh… half an hour of uninterupted bath time! THAT’S about as close to perfection as any mother can get!

Before climbing into the tub, I tore open my new Andrew Norsworthy cd, which I got compliments of Jen Lemen. (Thanks Jen! Thanks Andrew!) It is purely delicious! Before the end of the evening, I’d listened to the whole thing twice. I think I have a new musician to add to my list of favourites.

After slathering myself in lotion, I put on my favourite luxurious pajamas (thanks AP – I still wear them), and climbed into bed, content.

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