‘I wish it would snow on Tuesday. I wish I had ice powers,’ Boo lamented on Sunday night. Because it’s been forever since we’ve had decent snow – the gorgeous wooden sledge I bought last January has only been used as a Christmas prop and jigsaw table, the ski gloves for the kids still pristinely new. And what child* doesn’t get excited at a blanket of white, unblemished, crunchy snow?
*And when I say ‘child’ I also obviously mean ‘adults who haven’t shrivelled completely into snarling, grumpy old trouts’. Although by the time the snow’s turned to slush and everyone slipped on ice and defrosting the car is a major time delay when it’s cold and you’d rather have those extra minutes under the duvet instead of inhaling the fumes from the de-icer, then everyone’s allowed to turn into snarling, grumpy old trouts. But that first flurry, when it actually starts to settle. How do people not get a frisson of childlike excitement? Surely there’s nothing better than being the first footprint in just-fallen blanket of white.
(Although, if you prefer to be the first to make the snow yellow, then shame on you. That’s not classy; it’s just disgusting. Hang your head in shame and go and wash your hands.)
But anyway, the weather reports had mentioned the s-word enough for Boo to be disappointed that it just hadn’t happened for us. America was clearly getting our share. Again. Not fair!
And then, lo and behold, last night it started to snow. And to settle. We watched it building up a decent covering from the living room window. We watched the neighbours opposite get all excited, prancing about it the road.
Boo’s face was lit up in anticipation of the day ahead. A day off school? But even if not, possibly the chance to play in it afterwards with her best friend. Sledging and snowmen and snow angels. Then the realisation that snow is too cold and so back in the warm** for hot chocolate with marshmallows.
(**Still not especially warm, what with our house being mere degrees off of chilled, let alone cosy, but all things are relative.)
Because this is what we imagine when we think of snow:
Possibly because we’re not used to it. We’re not blasé about it. We’re still naive enough to believe in the fantasy of it, rather than to anticipate the reality.
But, yeah, it meant there was an air of excitement to accompany the special glow that you only get with snow.
At the same time I also wondered whether Boo might actually have ice powers. I wondered whether our potential Scandinavian royalty heritage was actually true and I had a real-life Elsa on my hands.
But what a difference a day(break) makes. When I woke up this morning the glow had gone. The light was too normal through the curtains. It didn’t bode well.
Looking out only confirmed my fears. Rain had melted most of the snow overnight. There was no crisp covering of white to crunch through on the way to school. The tops of the grass poked through the dusting of whites; the sledge would run aground and any snowman would just end up 70% clumps of mud and grass.
Worse, the pavements and roads had skipped the fun part and gone straight to slushy puddles of grey. I would say where’s the fun in that…except Noodles had a great time trying to splash in the BIGGEST puddle possible in Boo’s school playground (and didn’t even cry when he fell in it, which was a relief because my first reaction was to laugh at him – bad mummy!).
But still, it was disappointing. Facebook has been a moaning point for those snarling, grumpy, slush-hating trouts. And poor Boo’s face when she realised the day wasn’t going to bring all that she hoped. Heartbreaking.
Snow, it’s just a big fat tease. In fact, I’d like to give it the cold shoulder. But like all the best teasers out there I can’t quit it. I can’t give it up – the excitement at the possibility. But dammit, it’s hard. I only wanted to use the sledge.