Friday, December 7, 2012

A Snowy Promise

James thinks the weather forecasters are making much ado about nothing today and suspects we'll be lucky to see a single flake. But me? I'm planning for snow. To heck with the boots and the shovels and the sidewalk salt -- I'm preparing the cocoa and queuing the carols and lighting the candles. 

Because that first snow is MAGIC.

Remember those preschool years? Back then I'd wake to a different kind of light in my room and discover out the bedroom window an icy fairyland, its still-falling snowflakes glittering like sequins in the weak morning light. Looking back, I swear there was even a tinkly, icicle-chime soundtrack!

I'd impatiently wolf my breakfast of Maypo so Mom could pack me into my snowsuit and send me out into it. And once outside I marveled at the world's insulated silence. I tasted the snow and looked for animal tracks and tried to blaze a waist-deep trail. Soon the pristine yard was a mess of half-made snowmen and blurry angels, child-sized holes dug into snowbanks, crazy senseless routes right out of 'Family Circus.' Then, suddenly exhausted, I'd fling myself into a drift and stare up at the sky, dark in contrast to the fat white flakes that fell from it onto my tongue. My cheeks were on fire. There was snow melting in my boots, and my wrists were icy and blue where my mittens didn't quite reach my jacket cuffs. But go inside? No, not yet! Not even for hot tomato soup and soda crackers.

I have a feeling I napped well on those days; my mother must've loved it. But it's there that my memories of First Snowfalls seem to end. I'm sure there were other magical days like that. But maybe I was in school when they happened, or on my way to work or something. Years later, I remember suddenly realizing that those unbearable days of dropping everything and rushing out into that wonderland were over....

When my own Girlz were small, that magic began again for me. Only this time I hung onto it. And when they started their school years I did not forget the importance of that First Snowfall. If it happened on a school day, I kept them home. We went outside together to build forts and make snowmen, and when we returned inside once more, there was cocoa to sip. Sometimes there'd be popcorn. Or cookie dough to roll and shape and decorate. And always a wintry-themed picture book.

I've never regretted it. And the First Snowfall isn't the only holiday we created and kept, either. They're only little once. And the memories made (for myself as much as for them) are priceless and linger still.

How about YOU? What memories does that First Snowfall conjure? I'll bet they're pure magic too. :)

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