My daughter, Marie, was chosen for a special snowboarding program for students with psychiatric disabilities.  A team of trainers from a local mountain have donated their time, and the mountain has donated the snowboarding equipment to coordinate a comprehensive, six week snowboarding school.  Marie, who loves the snow, skiing and snowmobiling, was thrilled to be selected.

I was thrilled for her to be chosen, not only because it will be a great program for her, but because for Christmas it also gave me something to buy a child who “has everything”.  My husband and I visited a local winter sports store that had a 75% off sale because of a recent fire, (yay!  I love bargains!))  I delighted in choosing snow pants, little socks with the toes in them, which are then worn under insulated socks, little gloves with fingers in them which are then worn under insulated snow mittens, insulated underwear, (tops and bottoms, of course,) a ski face mask, a warm winter hat with a brim, and, most importantly of all according to my husband, a snowboarding jacket.  He explained that snowboarding jackets are much longer than ski jackets because you spend so much time on your butt!   I was delighted with our purchases, although I later realized that I had forgotten the ski goggles.  We packed them all up in a Christmas bag which Marie opened to great excitement Christmas morning.  To say she was thrilled was an understatement.  She beamed.  She glowed.  She was going to be a snowboarder.  At the end of Christmas day, we packed up all of her presents and brought her back to her residential school.

In order to add a little excitement to her Christmas vacation, I took her for a weekend in Boston.  After I picked her up, we stopped at a Panera Bread for lunch before we boarded the train for Boston.  I was so surprised, (shocked, embarrassed) that she was dressed in ALL of her snowboarding gear, such as in the above photo I took of her.  I told her to take the mask off or she would scare little children away.  She looked around and saw no kiddos running from her screaming, and she told me she was fine.  I was mortified, (which is not an easy feeling for me.)  The only thing I could be thankful for was the fact that I had forgotten to buy those ski goggles, because she would have certainly been wearing them, also.

While in Boston, we had planned to go to the Aquarium, but she asked to go ice skating instead, which made way more sense than the aquarium. (I could envision the fish swimming away from her in terror!)  Unfortunately, no one had given ME snowboarding equipment for Christmas, so I only had on a light winter coat.  My plans for the weekend were to run from metro stop to metro stop doing activities indoor.  I was dressed for fish viewing and shopping, NOT for the cold weather.    But, as most mothers can attest to, I wanted to make my daughter happier, so off we went to the Frog Pond Skating Rink.

Being a little bit unsteady on my own feet, I convinced her to skate by herself and I would wave at her every time she skates by.  That’s LOTS of waving, by the way.  But there was happiness in my heart because every time she came around the corner, she would search for me, smile broadly,and wave.

Marie then demonstrated what Angel had demonstrated on Christmas Day.  She started helping people!  She would look for a child, unsteady on his/her feet, and then she would skate backwards and hold his/her hands.  Around and around the rink she would go, sharing her skating skills to help others learn to skate.  Once the child was steadier on his/her skates, she would go around looking for another person to help.  Then, to my amazement, she went up to offer her assistance to a young man with a severe developmental disability.  His skates were turned inward, ankles almost on the ice.  She helped him stand up, and, with his hands on her shoulders, she skated backwards pulling him.  Because of his disability,it was obvious that he was not going to be able to skate independently with any degree of skill.  So Marie stayed with him for over an hour.  They both laughed and when he was called off the ice to go home, he hugged her and smiled.  He apparently could not talk, but she knew he was saying thank you.  She turned to find me, and with a big smile on her face she waved.  I waved back.

I froze that day…my toes were not covered by little toe socks and insulated socks, my hands were not covered little finger gloves and insulated gloves.  I was not wearing insulated underwear, or snow pants, or a warm hat with a brim, or even a snowboarding coat which would have covered my butt so I would have been warm. However, while my body may have been experiencing hypothermia, my happy heart was keeping me warm.


Comments on: "Little Toe Socks inside Insulated Socks" (46)

  1. Amazing daughter you have.

  2. Reading this… I was overcome by a great many emotions. I’m sooo happy for you! :’) And for Marie… And the fact that she actually did her part too by helping others do what she had learned to do… that shows that she cares about others too. That she is confident she can be of help too. I haven’t met her, but I can say that I love your daughter. Sincerely.

  3. You are a fabulous mom. Keep up the great work.

  4. what a great day!! and what a great girl you have!!

  5. Awesome story! 🙂

  6. simply awesome……thank you.

  7. Reblogged this on Laughter: Carbonated Grace and commented:
    Another awesome post. Her’s are all worth reading.

  8. This is such a beautiful story! Brava to you for your kids’ helping natures.

  9. I usually like your posts, but this time I couldn’t get past the sheer ignorance of the phrase “She looked like a terrorist.” It stopped me dead. Because, when did we find out what a terrorist looks like? if we knew, would bad things never happen by bad people again? Should we be questioning everyone dressed for winter? Were the people who took over the planes wearing this garb? No, they weren’t. Not to mention, why would you say that about your daughter? Please don’t say things like that. You lost a little respect from a reader today.

  10. That is a beautiful story! You must be so proud of your daughter’s compassion. 🙂

  11. What an amazing story!!! I love the picture of how she was dressed. Such joy in life. thanks for sharing.

  12. strawberryquicksand said:

    You gotta be one proud mum. xo

  13. optimisticgladness said:

    Love this! Marie found joy in helping others. That is just inspiring.

  14. What a wonderful and heartwarming story! (no pun intended!)

  15. What a wonderful daughter you have, of course, you know that already! Every mother should have a day like that!

  16. What an amazing experience for you! I’m so glad you got to experience & celebrate Marie’s wonderful kindness! What a joy for a m! You must be so proud of your daughter! ((Hugs)) Rani

  17. stephie2010 said:

    Awww. So nice of her. thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

  18. You are amazing. Someone to look up to. I’m glad your children have you as a mom. 🙂

  19. What a great blog! Keep up the great work with your kids. 🙂

  20. This is such an amazingly beautiful post. I have tears in my eyes, and goosebumps on my arms. I wish you many, many more proud moments with her.

  21. Sounds like she has a good heart 🙂

  22. Bless you and your happy heart 🙂

  23. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    This is a wonderful blog site for anyone who raises or works with children who have disabilities. I am pleased to share it here.

  24. Wishing you everything your heart hopes for in 2013. Beautiful posts. Thank you so much for sharing your world. 🙂

  25. Wow. This is beautiful, and I can totally understand and relate to the way you “froze” when you saw your daughter helping another. Love it.

  26. Marie rocks!!!! Looks like the time at the rink was time well spent. What a blessing – thanks for sharing!


  27. Your posts always make me tear up – and that is not an easy thing! Children really do learn by example. Pride warmed your heart and soul that day;

  28. Lovely post… and what a lovely daughter you have.

  29. One of the blessings of our children who are “different” is that they hold no fear for the differences in others. Marie’s ability to share her happiness and her skill is a wonderful thing. So glad you went skating instead of to the aquarium.

  30. Good heavens, you are an amazing woman and mother. Congratulations on such a family. I began writing adult fiction years ago but only recently ventured into young adult fiction. I can’t imagine why I waited so long since I spent decades as a teacher—so I have story ideas galore. As a special education teacher and later a computer teacher with special needs children in my classes, I had to laugh and yes, sniffle a few tears, as I read your blog about your kids. Best to you–Jane Grace

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