As adults, we often get irritated by the same happenings in life which bring awe and wonder to children. For instance, this past week’s blizzard. I couldn’t help but find the weather irritating. I had lots of things planned on my “to-do” list that just couldn’t get done with 24 inches of snow on the ground. Not to mention we were supposed to have company for the weekend who were compelled to cancel due to the weather. But, when I took a moment to live through the eyes of my kids and appreciate the beauty of such a huge snowfall, I was reminded of a time when I too remembered to see the extraordinary in the everyday–my early childhood in Alaska.
I am seven years old and eagerly look out the window, pressing my nose against the cold windowpane, fog from my hot breath collecting on the glass. I cannot wait to go out. I scurry to the hall closet. My sister Stephanie beats me to the collection of huge winter coats, long scarves, and fuzzy hats and gloves. She finds her snowsuit and struggles to raise the zipper. As she pulls on her snow boots, frantically I rush to find my own. In my efforts to uniform myself, the zipper of my snowsuit gets stuck. I seek help from Dad.
“Don’t you worry Tam-Tam-A-Roo,” he reassures me with the name only he is allowed to use. “Steph will wait for her baby sister to go play in the snow.” Suited up and ready to go, Steph and I rush out the door joining the kitchen to the garage. She presses the garage door button since I can’t reach. The hinged contraption raises little by little, like a curtain at the theater.
We both stand there wide-eyed, unable to move or speak. The milky world before us shimmers, even gleams beneath a happy sun. The trees and bushes too are sugarcoated in the white dust, branches bowing from added weight. Steph and I look at each other in silent, mutual agreement and know what we must do. Skipping through the garage, over the covered driveway with snow crunching underfoot, we come to the most open and level area of snow in our yard. We fall back into the cold, cushioning snow. Our arms and legs perform slow jumping jacks in the most fluid of motions, creating shallow troughs in the soft snow.
“My two little angels, ” announces Daddy’s voice hovering just above our heads. “Do you want some help up so you don’t ruin your masterpieces?”
“Okay Daddy,” we both giggle in agreement as our dad, who we know is the strongest and best man in the world, scoops us up into his arms We both giggle as he tickles us with his beard.
“Look Daddy,” I insist, pointing to the shapes we created in the snow. “We really are angels.”
Our Dad gently kisses each of us on the forehead and assures us both, “You girls will always be my angels.” Filled with warmth and happiness from my dad and the angel shining up at me in the gleaming white snow, I know the world is mine.
If you still have snow on the ground like we do in the Shenandoah Valley, go outside and make a snow angel. I promise you will be happy you did.
How To Make a Snow Angel
1. Find a level area of snow
2. Stand up straight and fall back
3. Move your arms and legs in fluid, jumping jack motions
4. Make sure you laugh
5. Stand up carefully and take a look at your masterpiece
6. Feel happy: you have just captured the essence of what it feels like to be a child again