The first day of school was only an hour, and it was the first decently hot day this "summer," so I squelched down my guilt, played hooky from a thousand and twelve urgent tasks and we took the kids up Whistler mountain for a picnic hike.
On the way to our favorite picnic spot, this happened:
It was a magnificent gift. What struck me most, apart from the unbearable cuteness, was that Mama was the one who took the initiative to play, rolling about and gently dragging her cub into the tussle. Even when she judged it time to leave the lovely cool snow and get back to the serious business of eating (and it is a very serious business, with winter approaching on the heels of a lousy berry crop, and males hogging all the best territory, as usual) she let him push her over every few steps in what was clearly a "just one more minute, Mom!" ploy.
And they were off.