A Child's First Snow

When children are told about snow, it's almost taken as a fable; just as distant as a faerie fluttering around their head at night, waggling a magic wand over their eyelids to keep them suspended in dreamland. You tell them about snow; explain how light it is, how it looks like slivers from a giant crystal, cold, yet melts the second it hits your skin; how its patterns are of millions and so beautiful that it doesn't seem possible to believe, even when you're standing in the midst of a blizzard.

And then the day comes when they see it for themselves.

Joy.

"What's that Mama? What's that?"

"It's snow."

"Snow?"

"Yes. Do you want to go out and play in it? You do?" A hand is reaching for the doorknob, no need for boots or coat or anything. "Hold on. Let's get you dressed. Snow is cold."

Now comes the fun of stuffing two little sausage arms into a puffy coat, feet into boots that are either too big or too small, fingers must be inserted into each little section of their gloves--an almost impossible task given their fingers are still at that stage where they're like little duck fins; unable to separate at will.

Now the unleashing.

Bright red, puffy coat arms flail in excitement, black boots stomp in undiluted happiness, blue gloves become covered with studded chunks of snow. Their round cheeks are ruddy in the flash freeze or air, smiling for the wonder of it all.

It's the first lesson that some things--no matter how magical they seem--really do come true in this physical world. Though we should never ask for proof, once in a while it's nice to see, and feel, and hear . . . magic. That simple, profound bliss that a child holds every day of their life is available for anyone on this earth. All you need is blind wonder, and a good pair of boots.

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