I just got back from dropping Pip off at the bus stop. Though it is reasonably cold right now (21 degrees), and we had been waiting 10 minutes for the bus to come, we were both disappointed when we saw it round the corner and head down the street in our direction. We were having too much fun.
Remember that Pip hasn't seen snow in something like three years. Already in October he was asking me "Dad, when is it going to snow? I want to see snow again!" Well, he got his wish this past weekend -- and then some. The kids had their first snow day of the school year on Friday. They went sledding that day and again Sunday afternoon with our friends the Muyskens.
Then this morning at breakfast he asked me about icicles. That led us into a conversation about snow being water that has crystalized. (Crystals, apparently, are inherently cool to 2nd graders). He'd heard elsewhere that each snowflake is unique. And of course, he's done the kindergarten scissors & paper decorative snowflakes. But nothing prepared him for an up-close look the real thing on its own terms. And today the conditions were perfect: the snow was falling delicately from the sky, and it rested gently on our gloves and coats in single flakes and small clumps, where it practically posed, inviting close inspection, admiration, wonder. Pip was flabbergasted at the beauty and complexity of this stuff that we blithely trudge around in and stomp off our boots when we come in the house.
"Wow! It's got so many points!" he said. "It's so tiny! It's so beautiful!"
"Look at this one!" I'd say, and we'd look. "Oh! Look at this one!!!" he'd say -- and we'd look together, each of us sharing each little gift as God dropped it down.
It reminded me of a winter years ago, when little Miriam had just acquired language and was eagerly awaiting the first snowfall. The December day it came, we bundled her up, and then she went outside, skipping through the front yard and praising God with with a direct address full of delight and joy: "O snow! You make me happy, snow!"
Let's face it, snow is not always something you can appreciate when you're shoveling it, or driving in it, or even sledding on it. And I think my friend Kent is mostly right when he says that snow in Michigan is about as exciting as Tuesdays in Michigan. But this particular Tuesday morning, through the eyes of my youngest, I found it pretty exciting.