I opened my eyes slowly. For some reason, the room seemed darker and cozier than normal, and getting out of bed was even more of an effort. Slowly, I shuffled toward the bathroom and on my way caught a glimpse of the outside world through my window. Oh my God, it’s snowing. No wonder it was hard getting out of bed. Somehow the body knows when it rains or snows and instinctually wants to burrow in.
It’s beautiful. The sky is bright and grey, a silver lining, speckled with small fluffs of white; soft winter butterflies fluttering gently to the ground. I peer at it, watching it fall; the houses almost surreal in their untouched new snow beauty. A snow globe all shook up.
If I close my eyes, I imagine a horse drawn carriage, a rosy cheeked family, puffs of cold laughter coming from their mouths that dissipate as they bring a cup of steaming cocoa to their lips. The cold is warm under the blankets and magical as it falls all around. Lovely. So lovely.
My block under cover of downy white looks like a postcard and later my kids will make it even more picturesque, sliding around outside, making forts, hurling snowballs. Their faces will turn red from the cold and exertion, their noses all a bit runny, their eyes glittering with excitement, and snow sparkling in their lashes and the locks of hair that have escaped from their hats.
They will slosh through my house afterwards, peeling off heavy boots and coats, leaving glistening chunks of snow all over my floor. They will strip off layer after laying of clothing for me to find like a scavenger hunt later on; a wet sock under the couch, underwear in a boot. They will cry that their fingers hurt and I will hold them tightly in mine until I can warm them up with my breath and a cup of hot chocolate.
We will all huddle together inside, warm and cozy, maybe light the fireplace that we almost never use. It’ll turn dark and colder, but the allure of shimmering snow in moonlight will be too much for the three little faces at the window, eyes widening at the sight. They will wait expectantly for their daddy to come home, wanting to go out in the winter wonderland again.
I will watch them by the screen door, tossing each other around like snowballs. I have no interest in being out there with them. I am mama bear. I hate the cold. I only love their delight. So I’m content to watch from my cave, knowing that soon, one by one they will come to me, either freezing or crying or both, and I will comfort them with my warm hug.
After hot showers, their faces and bodies now pink with warmth, we will tuck all their exhausted, excitement into bed; their happy voices drifting off into the quiet of falling snow.
Then I will sigh contentedly, go downstairs, do a hundred pounds of laundry and pray that it all melts by morning.