It's been three years since we had a snowy winter, and The Boy was much younger then, much easier to pry off a snowbank and convince that we should take refuge from the icy pellets striking our faces. During that time, I had forgotten what it was to be a child in the snow. I had forgotten that children don't get cold. They don't notice icicles hanging from dripping noses or that their mittens are ice-caked, nor the brittle, frozen digits encased therein until they nearly break one off. I had forgotten how many pairs of pants, gloves, and mittens are soaked through in only one afternoon's snow play (The Boy set a record of 8 pairs of pants this weekend). But mostly, I had forgotten what snow means to a child.
To them, the snow is a mysterious gift. It covers the hard and unforgiving ground with a soft blanket. It cushions their falls and wraps itself around them. It transforms the bleak landscape into a white playground of delights. Surely, snow was made for children. They belong to the church of the Anticipation of Precipitation, and truly they believe.
They are glued to the television as the snow evangelists talk about rain/snow lines and visions of the storm as seen by satellite and radar - the tools of the meteorological prophet. In an ancient ritual, they don pajamas inside out and backwards to insure enough snow to cause the schools to close. They lay down at night with prayers on their lips. "Lord, thank you for the snow we are about to receive".
And when it comes, they erect a monument in thankfulness for their bounty, as those who came before have always done.