On Christmas morning, we awoke to a dusting of snow. The ground was white, but some blades of grass were still poking through. Someone said that it wasn’t officially a “White Christmas” because there wasn’t an inch of snow on Christmas morning. I didn’t think that there was an official definition for the term, but it turns out that the National Climatic Data Center is in charge of this, and therefore has to have an official definition in order to keep statistics.
I’m always a skeptic about local weather forecasts, especially during wintertime on the east coast. It seems to me that forecasters know only one thing with certainty: if they make bold predictions, they’ll deliver eyeballs to their advertisers, and there won’t be negative consequences if they’re wrong. Despite my skepticism, the forecasters won the day and we did get more snow later in the afternoon and evening, enough so that church was cancelled the following morning.
Elena had wanted to enjoy in the snow the previous evening, but it was too late by the time any substantial accumulation had occurred. The next morning we both got bundled up and headed out. Elena loves the snowmen that show up in all of her winter books, so I tried to build one for her. Unfortunately, the snow stuck to my knit wool gloves too much for me to get a big snowball rolling. Instead, we threw a couple of small snowballs at fences and trees.
Grandma Nancy told us that there was a sled in the garage. We found it and I pulled Elena around the yard. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a toddler laughing–I grow to appreciate it more every day. When she wanted to take a break, I took a solo trip down the big hill in their front yard, which was too dangerous for her. She watched with great enjoyment from the top of the hill.
By this time, Grandma had come out to shovel the long, steep driveway. Elena always wants to be helpful, so we went in search of a shovel. For her we found a big dustpan that worked well enough. I didn’t want to be the only one not working, so I found a shovel for myself and helped out with the work.
When we finished that task, I offered Elena another sledding run around the yard. This one ended in a minor catastrophe–I tried to make a turn at the bottom of a small hill and cut the corner too tight. Elena spilled out of the sled face-first into the fresh snow. The cold shocked her with its immediacy, and the only way I found to console or at least distract her was to go down the big hill again. Perhaps she hoped that I would also crash.
After that we went inside and woke Jenny up prematurely from a morning nap. Elena just doesn’t know how to cuddle quietly. I hope that her unfortunate faceplant doesn’t become the thing she remembers about our snow playtime. If we get more snow, I want her to be excited to go out and play in it. Next time I’ll be sure to wear gloves that are better for making snowmen.