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Be careful what you wish for when it comes to weather

Submitted by on Sunday, 4 January 2009 2 Comments

He’d heard of snowmen, snow angels and sleds.

He’d endured three winters of weather trash-talking from his grandma in the mountains: “It’s snowing here. If you were here you could play in it.”

He’d ranted through Rudolph and frowned through Frosty since Thanksgiving. “I’m never going to get to play in the snow. It’s not fair!”

Big Guy finally got his wish New Year’s Day. And he found out, in the end, that it still wasn’t fair because Boots had a blast while he shivered on the mountainside.

“I’d like snow a lot better if it weren’t so cold,” he complained.

Touche, my son!

My problem with snow was not so much the cold, because I could always put on three pairs of socks, two shirts and huddle in front of a fireplace. My problem was the constant car-shoveling and sidewalk sweeping. And that was when I even bothered. Sometimes the drifts were so deep I’d give up and walk to work in my ski suit for days at a time. No reason to dig out the car when a snowplow’s going to rebury it in a few hours.

There’s a reason I live in California. Once you pass a certain age, when you can no longer look forward to the “no school today” announcements on the radio, snow loses its appeal.

Ay, but all Big Guy had heard of snow its positive spin. So he begged and pleaded, and finally we relented, making the hour-plus drive into the mountains. Except it was more like a two-hour-plus drive after all the obligatory “Mommy, I gotta potty” stops.

It was actually a decent day to head to the snow. Sunny and warm for the winter, but with about two feet accumulated. Because it was New Year’s Day, I figured the crowds would be small because few hungover adults would be willing to brave sun glaring off the snow.

Big Guy bounced out of the car and up the mountain, lying down and flapping out a snow angel as we neared the top. “This is a little cold!” he said, but happily.

Next came the snowman. As I started rolling the tiny ball, hillbilly genetic memory seemed to kick in for the guys. “Oh, I get it! You just keep rolling it on the ground and it gets bigger,” Big Guy said.

As he moved on to the sled, hillbilly genetic memory failed. A foot dangled over the side, a shoe taking on a load of slush. “Oh my gosh! This is really cold. It’s like the frigerator. No, the freezer.”

He scooped a double handful and took a bite to prove his point. “See? This is like a snow cone. Hey! Is that why snow cones are called snow cones?”

Back to snow angels, where his pants became soaked. Yes, Bad Mommy was kicking herself for not springing for snow suits. Or at least a pass to a ski resort where he could warm up.

“Mommy, I’m REALLY COLD,” he cried, tear starting to form.

“OK, babes. Let’s finish the snowman and then go.”

“I don’t … want …to … go,” he sobbed. “But it’s REALLY COLD.”

We sat him on the sled and wrapped him in my jacket. Boots happily sculpted the snowman as Big Guy’s misery accumulated faster than the snowman’s girth. He was torn between growing discomfort that told him to get the heck out of there and sadness of lost imagined joy.

We finished Frosty, substituting a twig for the nose. The forgotten carrot was another Bad Mommy mistake. By then, Big Guy was beside himself. “Why does snow have to be so COLD?” he wailed.

Dad carried Big Guy off the mountain as I coached Boots down. Luckily, he decided it was fun to bump down on his butt.

A few days after the fact, Big Guy has recovered sufficiently to want to try it again some day. But not any time soon.

“I like snow, but I don’t like being cold.”

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Leslie K. said:

    I’m with Big Guy….snow is fun to look at from inside a beautiful cabin, in front of a snuggly fire….lololol! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  • Debra said:

    I would have been thrilled if he’d stuck with that position, Leslie, but in the warmth of the valley fog he’s starting to change his mind.

    I guess it’s sort of like having a baby — eventually I forgot all about the labor pains and was willing to do it again.