Every winter I create a sledding hill of of the stairs of our deck by clearing the deck of snow and slowly creating a mound higher and higher as the winter months progress. Sari and Macie just love climbing and sledding on it. I’m pretty proud of the hills I’ve made!

But that pride can get in the way of enjoyment sometimes.

One time, after a heavy snowfall, I was throwing more snow on the hill, making it bigger and bigger, and the girls were outside playing with me. I was trying to smooth the hill out. There were holes from the last time the girls were playing on it and our dog, Riley, was enjoying running up and down the hill rather than use the stairs.

As I was crafting the hill to perfection, Macie was climbing up the sledding part of the hill making more holes and ruining the area where the sleds go down. I kinda got on to her saying she was wrecking the hill! Even as I said it I realized how funny it was that I was getting on to Macie for playing on the hill that I was making for them to play on!

Why do I care how they use their hill? I’m making it for them!

I then corrected myself and said, “You know what Macie? Never mind. This is your hill. You can play on it however you want. If you want to sled, then sled. If you want to run down it in your boots, then have at it. If you want to climb up or roll down, then do so. It’s your hill.”

You should have seen her face. It was like I had given her $100 to go buy American Girl doll stuff!

“Did you hear that, Sari?” Macie yelled. “This is our hill!”

I have to lay down my pride (so that I will look good in some way when people see this perfect hill and my girls have wrecked it so why didn’t I stop them?) in order for my kids to enjoy the very thing I was making for them to enjoy. I need to lay down my control. The girls (even my wife, Amanda) have so much more fun when I’m not authoritative about something.

Funny. I’m outnumbered!