Jared finally made it home after nearly two weeks flying around the world for business trips. My world is right again.
Last night we got about one inch of snow. I found out about it when Nolan ran into our room this morning exclaiming, "Look out your window!"
After everyone was up and had breakfast (and coffee) and adequate relaxing time, we got out the hodge podge of snow pants, coats, gloves, hats, and boots. Getting the kids dressed to go play in the snow is about like putting a grapefruit into a sausage casing. Seven times per child. Everyone is sweating by the time it's over.
We sent the kids outside while Jared got himself geared up and I sat by our big front window to keep an eye on the kids.
And then the magic appeared. It started with a sparkle in their eyes as they entered the front yard and assessed the white covering. Then little fingers lost in oversized gloves scraped snow off the top of the car to sneak a taste. Soon puffy pants and velcroed boots were running around the yard. There were shouts of, "Mom! We found deer tracks!" For the record, they were cat prints.
Soon I witnessed three tiny figures huddled together studying imagined treasures under the snow. Then they were off, running in every direction to discover a brand new world of white.
Their little cheeks grew pinker with each passing moment. Nora's hair defiantly poked out the front of her hat. Her silky curls wrapped back around the edge of her hat all around her face. One minute the kids were giant explorers on an expedition, and the next they were tiny children discovering our yard for the very first time.
I'm not sure if I loved it because my kids were actually playing outside or working together or using their imaginations. Or maybe it was that I knew that Nora still had her swimsuit on under her clothes and snow gear. But I think it was also because the scene before me tapped into a thousand wonderful memories of when I was a little girl wearing hand-me-down snow pants and ill-fitting boots so I could spend hours discovering treasures in a secret snow world in our back yard.
Nolan made a snow angel while Griffin dug in the snow at the very edge of our driveway. Nora found a scrap of wood in the garage, carried it past our neighbor's house to the top of our hill, and tried to ski down towards our house.
Griffin's favorite moment came after he discovered me watching through the window. He gathered a snowball in his tan knit gloves and tried to conceal it as he approached the window. "Mom, I want to tell you I love you." He was so excited that he smiled his underbite smile. He threw the snowball and giggled uncontrollably as it exploded against the window.
The next time he approached the window, it was to tell me that there really could be treasures hidden in our yard. He and Nolan carved X's in the snow and then used shovels to dig in those spots.
I watched as Jared and the kids took advantage of the snowy Saturday morning. I hoped the kids would remember this day. I filed the mental footage in my mind's memory box under "Perfect Childhood Moments."
Eventually the kids remembered that siblings are supposed to fight, and then it was time to come in for lunch. I hadn't even bothered to get out the camera or video camera because I just wanted to soak in the beautiful scene of my kids being kids and Jared being a dad. Nora came in and removed her coat, snow pants, shirt, sweatpants, and swimsuit in record time. I couldn't get a picture of her before I blinked and she was in her tiny underwear. But I did get quick shots of the boys before they completely disrobed.