The first snowfall of the year is like a mini Christmas to me. It brings back so many beautiful memories of growing up with my fourteen siblings. Mom was a great believer in spending as much time playing outside as possible - and cold weather wasn’t a deterrent to the great outdoors; just add layers. Seeing that snowfall brings me right back to the giant snow forts we would make, rolling our snowballs until they were so big we could barely move them and would have to call a sibling to help. Snowball fights, snowmobile rides, sledding, and skating. Our winter season was filled with wonderment as the first flakes fell. I remember the great big bowls of popcorn and steaming cups of hot chocolate Mom would have ready for us as we came in from the cold; cheeks bright red, mittens soaked and full of stories of who did what and what we had just created in our own winter wonderland. The older I get the sweeter these memories are; I am sure there were lots of tears and fights and snowballs that were thrown just a bit harder than they should have been but those moments don’t stick as much as the ones full of laughter and joy.
Today was the first snowfall of the season and I felt like a kid again dressing up in my winter gear, helping the kids into their coats and hats and mitts. We trampled through the snow making snow angels, building snowmen, tossing snowballs, Conlin eating handfuls of snow and Elliot snuggled and sleeping in the crisp air. Then we headed back inside for salted popcorn and mint hot chocolate; and my heart just swelled inside. I want my kids to remember their winter memories with the same fondness I have; to carry on the tradition with their children; to love the outdoors no matter what the season and to get so lost in play that you only realize it’s time to go in when your mittens are frozen and your fingers are numb.