When it snows Hunter and Amy can't wait to help Mike shovel our driveway. They don’t care how cold they get, they are captivated by the wonderment of white, wet, snow.
I am 8 years old and I truly believe that if I pray, God will make it snow. On Christmas morning there is frost on the Bay Area lawn and that is good enough for my prayer, but I still hope for a miracle, maybe next year.
I am 9 years old, it is the first time I've seen snow. I am driving in a minivan with faux wood panels through the Cascade Mountains. There are patches of melted snow on the side of the road. Every time we pass a dirty mound of wet snow I yell “SNOW” as loud as I can. I am hoping my Aunt Debi or my Grandma Betty’s husband Dan will pull over and let me play in it. I had no such luck.
I am 10 years old. I’ve just arrived in Oregon. Debi has bought a farm house. As I get closer I see the snow. It doesn't snow often in Newberg, sometimes not at all during an entire winter. There are 2 inches on the ground, not enough to bury myself in, but enough to build a snowman. Dan helps me roll his head and body. It seems like we used every inch of snow from the gravel driveway, all rolled up into a jolly snowman. I could finally say I had played in snow.
I am 11 years old. We are driving from California to Utah in a moving truck. It was February the daily high in Fremont 65 degrees. Twelve hours later it was 30 degrees in Utah. At the house we were going to live in for the next 4 months there is an dirty pile of snow taller than me. I had missed the light fluffy fresh snow, but it was a promise that I would never have another snow-less winter.
I am 12 years old. It’s Saturday. I trudge through the snow to Amy and Lindsay’s houses. They tell me we are too old to play in the snow. I am too old for snow angels, too old for snowmen, too old for snowballs. I am shattered. I am wishing I could go to California and find my 8 year old self. I would bring her here and revel with her in the snow until she can't feel her fingers and toes anymore.
Amy is one Hunter is three. I look in the back of their closet and find snow pants, a heavy coat. I walk over to their dresser and quickly pull out gloves and hats. The snow is too deep for Amy to walk in so she crawls through it sinking to her shoulders. Hunter is bounding past her. I pick her up and run her to a place in the back of the yard near her brother. He is eating snow and swinging at it with his little gloved hands. Amy sits, her eyes huge, staring up at the snowflakes falling on her nose. I attempt to make a snowball and roll it across the yard. It’s more difficult than I remember. Hunter is more interested in smashing the ball than rolling it. I teach them how to make snow angels. The toddlers are delighted. I feel so warm in my coat, with the snow cradling my body. I am in a cocoon of crystal.
With time we have our snowman. He’s a little crooked; one tree branch arm is longer than the other. He has a carrot nose and rocks for eyes. One of Amy’s pink scarves is wrapped around his neck. We strip off our layers inside the house and stare at our snowman through the large window, and I am 8 years old again.