February is upon us and things are looking up! I have always found January to be the darkest, longest, coldest month of the year. This year January has been especially long and dark with the Code Red restrictions, our lives have been severely impacted for 10 months like nothing we could have ever imagined in our darkest dreams. Our lives go on, but in a constant state of uncertainty and flux. Our hearts go out to everyone who have lost loved ones to the virus or have not been able to visit family in the hospital or long term care homes. The good news is that hopefully the worst is behind us in Manitoba and if we stay vigilant and Covid careful, I believe that slowly, slowly we will return to better days. It is so easy to get caught up in doom and gloom by talking to negative people or watching the news but what good does that do?
This year, January has offered Manitobans a wonderful gift of warm, winter weather. At least this was something we could be positive about! I have walked many kilometres in my neighbourhood, the Assiniboine Forest and recently on the wonderful Centennial River Trail. It is so uplifting and energizing to see happy people of all ages walking, biking, skating, pulling children in sleds and cross-country skiing down the centre of our Assiniboine River. To see our city from the centre of the river is amazing! I highly recommend experiencing this as well as visiting the many walking trails throughout our city. Fresh air and smiling, happy people are the BEST medicine!
I have been so impressed with the many outdoor initiatives that schools, daycares and individuals have undertaken to help children continue to learn and grow as well as inspire people to get outside and have fun. There are snowman building contests, outdoor school classroom programs, igloos and snow forts being built in front and back yards, as well as skating rink projects undertaken by families and schools. I have encountered teachers taking their young students for walks in the Assiniboine Forest. How wonderful!
Winnipeg Parent is now in our 28th year of publishing. It has been a struggle to keep moving forward because so many of my wonderful advertisers are closed or offering limited virtual programming only. I am grateful for both provincial and federal support to keep printing and distributing our publication, providing families and caregivers with valuable and inspiring information about family life in our city and province. We will press on and hope in a few weeks, a few more restrictions can be lifted, and life can feel less restrictive and confining. Letís spend time outside, stay positive, check in with friends and family and keep following the rules to stay healthy.
This issue of Winnipeg Parent is focused on February Family Fun with tons of suggestions of things you can do despite no events or programs allowed this month. We also offer our Focus on Education with schools offering virtual open houses this year. How great is it that you can school shop in your pajamas on our sofa? Take the time to research schools that you are interested in learning more about and register for their virtual open houses. We have so many options for pre-school to high school.
Happy Valentines Day and Louis Riel Day!