Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The First Time

I grew up where it was common, but Sunday was the first time my children saw snow.

Of course, they had heard of it and had seen pictures of it in books, but this was the first time they held their mouths open to the sky, willing crystalline flakes to fall onto their tongues.

They walked with their father, throwing snowballs and laughing through the woods.

They built a small snowman.

Eventually, dressed in cotton clothes testifying to my children's southern upbringing, they got too cold and wet.

Rooster came into the house sobbing because of it and reminded me of my Tennessean college roommate on the day she got her first taste of an Illinois winter.

I was on my way down to the laundry room, waiting at our dorm elevators with a basket of clothes.

The doors slid open and there, crumpled in a heap, was my college roommate Liz, crying hysterically.

I set the laundry down and crouched down beside her, worried.

"What? What is it, Liz? What's wrong?"

"I'm...s-s-s-so... c-c-c-COLD!" she sobbed.

Because I had lived in Illinois since the eighth grade, I was used to the bitterly cold weather.

I even went on a date to see The Flamingo Kid with Matt Dillon on a night when the wind chill registered eighty degrees below zero.

I vividly remember the way the wind steadily blew a thin layer of talcum snow across the dark and deserted theater parking lot.

It gave me the eerie sensation of being surrounded by ghosts.

When I found Liz crying in the elevator, I did what any kind, understanding roommate would do.

I burst out laughing.

[And then I helped her get up and to our room to get warm.]

When The Rooster and The Mayor came inside, they both had perfectly round, rosy button cheeks.

Their faces were literally shining with the cold.

I pulled their wet things off and quickly re-dressed them.

When they were dry, we made hot chocolate.

While they sipped it at the dining room table, they told me all about the snow.

They told me everything.

21 comments:

Amy said...

How sweet! They look like they had a blast. I grew up in New England and can't imagine a childhood without snow to play in!

Phoenix said...

Awww, what a wonderful picture! My younger daughter, who is 9, had her first proper snow this year, so I can easily picture the fun your two had :-)

Leendaluu said...

hhhmmm -80 college experience...I had those too (but likely WAY before you).

This is a test: I-L-L

WILLIAM said...

Great Pic.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

We just got a bit of snow Sunday and it was all gone by lunch time but the girls LOVED it. They've actually gotten to wear their snow boots twice.

My oldest made two snowballs and promptly put them in the freezer. ;)

Sayre said...

My first REAL snow happenen when I was in my 20s. Being born and raised a Florida girl, I'd only seen a dusting before and it melted so quickly... But when I moved to OK, I saw REAL snow and was absolutely surprised at how wet it was. I was not expecting that. Cold, yes. Wet, no.

BD said...

I live in Ottawa, Ontario, and this morning it was -29F with the windchill. Having grown up with snowy winters, I can't even begin imagine what that first experience must be like for someone. Thanks so much for sharing the Mayor's and the Rooster's. I love your blog and have been lurking here for a while - I guess it was that all-too-Canadian-irrepressible-love-for-talking-about-the-weather that made me finally speak up!

ms. changes pants while driving said...

totally cute.

is that what snow looks like? i couldn't imagine -80 degrees. that's ... that's... i have no words. it was 80 degrees in socal yesterday.

mo.stoneskin said...

I can't imagine not knowing snow-coldness. On the other hand I can easily imagine curling up into a ball and crying because it is too hot!

Denguy said...

Okay, so you lived there when they had the wind chill record low in 1982?

It's -19 (-2F) up here right now--you can have the bloody snow, we've had enough!

Janet said...

The first snowfall of each year gets me all nostalgic. But by this time of year in S. Ontario? It can just piss off. Seriously.

Issas Crazy World said...

That was me when I moved to Denver a few years back...crying about the cold. Really, it snowed once when I was a kid. I'm from Los Angeles. The time it snowed (6 inches) they closed school for two days.

Amanda said...

One of my most cherished childhood photographs is not unlike this, with snow covering our hilly street. Our faces not yet showing the worry lines of divorce and worse. This picture took me back, perfectly.

moodswingingmommy said...

Now that picture shows real joy indeed! Precious!

Deer Antler for Pups said...

The end of January our school called two cold days. The wind chill was 25 below--of-course this brought the stories out from my Chicago born husband about how he had trudged to school uphill both ways, when nobody even believed in wind chill. My son, then announced he wanted to go sledding--Texas, born mother insisted it was to cold, but father of little brain..said lets go...and so I of-course came along to bring the common sense. My 12 year old dresses appropriately whoshed down the empty hill for about 30 minutes and then climbed into the car with icicles frozen on his eyelashes, and red rose checks. I knew a memory from his childhood at just been made...and I took a picture to prove it.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Cutie - patooties!

John Ross said...

That is a great photo and I'm sure a great new memory. Me, I've had enough snow for this winter, here in Portland, but I know the littles have been diggin it.

Gretchen said...

Too cute!

My oldest is cheering that spring will be here in three weeks. I told her, "Only on the calendar." As here in MN, it could snow in May!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

So did you actually GO on a date with Matt Dillon?

Oh...or do you mean that Flamingo Kid has Matt Dillon in it?

Damn.

Kim said...

Awesome memories. Too sweet.

mamatulip said...

I love how rosy-cheeked my kids get after playing out in the snow. It's a look I've seen a lot on them this winter...

I love the story of your roommate - I'd burst out laughing too. It got up to -1 this afternoon and it was practically balmy.