One of our snow days was awesome.
I worried in the middle of the night that the awesome wouldn’t happen as I heard the changeover from snow to ice against the window in the darkness of my bedroom. When I let the dog out in the morning, she slip-slid around, breaking through the layer of ice atop all of the fluffy snow, each step hard fought. I figured us human-types would be stuck inside for the day. Again.
When my husband eventually made it home from work, I complained about how the ice ruined everything. He shook his head, telling me not to worry about it. After breakfast and cups of coffee, as I struggled to get to work with the chaos of the boys and the dog, he rounded up all of the snow clothes and headed on outside.
First they shoveled, talked to the neighbors, and stood back as a neighbor boy plowed the driveway with his four-wheeler. Then the three of them set to work on proving me wrong by building a snowman.
Once you broke through the top layer, the snow below packed nicely. They worked and worked and worked. I watched through the living room window as I sat on the couch, rushing through edits so I could join them. I eventually sent my bosses a message — BRB! MAKING A SNOWMAN — and rushed outside in my own snow gear to help, to capture the moments, to enjoy a moment in an otherwise difficult winter.
I brought out our snowman kit, built by a friend of my late grandfather and given to us in 2010. We actually haven’t used it since that year as the winters haven’t given us much to work with in terms of usable snowman snow — in quantity or quality or in time off to spend in the front yard. This winter delivered all of that — and more.
The boys took turns pushing the colorful pieces of wood into our snowman — the eyes, the nose, the pipe, the buttons. We carefully wrapped the scarf around his neck. I offered up the wispy sticks for his arms; I snapped them off a bush that we still haven’t identified in our backyard. I then handed over two smaller pieces for his eyebrows. We went with angry eyebrows — again — in honor of the boys’ deep love of all things Calvin and Hobbes.
At first they didn’t quite understand, didn’t remember. “But why are you making him angry? Make him happy!”
“You guys, he’s a Snow Goon!”
Note: He may not melt until May. That’s some hard packed, ice-snow.
As recognition crossed their faces, I rushed inside to grab their Hobbes dolls and asked for a photo. The last time we made our angry snowman, they didn’t get it. We hadn’t rebuilt our Calvin and Hobbes library just yet, and so they hadn’t sat for hours upon hours, reading every single word of the comic — memorizing all of Calvin’s words, all of Hobbes’ replies. Four years later, they’ve become their own versions of a boy and his tiger, having their own adventures.
And adventures, they have many.