Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Favorite Snow

Our recent brush with winter brought back memories. Memories of my favorite snow.

I lived in Minnesota for almost ten years, so I have many to choose from. But one stands out above all the rest.

Christmas Eve, 2004. My favorite.

I had been sailing rough waters in the previous months. I was pregnant and filled with trepidation. In less than a year I had suffered two miscarriages and the current pregnancy was off to a rocky start.

I was keeping the baby a secret from friends and family. I told myself that it could be "real" at Christmas. I would be out of the thick woods and could spread the word. Besides, if I didn't do it my growing belly would do it for me.

I had it all planned out in my head. My whole family would be at my grandparents' house for the holidays. I would put a big red bow around my waist and announce their gift: A new grandbaby. Everyone would hug and laugh and cry tears of joy. They would all rub my belly and debate if it was a boy or a girl. You can't beat that.

That vision got me through a lot of scary moments. I clung to it in the days leading up to Christmas.

But things didn't go down that way.

Mom suffered a bad fall and had to have surgery. She wasn't up for visitors, much less travel. So, we decided to spend Christmas in Houston and get the family together another time when we could all be together.

Crushed. That's how I felt. Of course I was worried about my mom, but I couldn't help being disappointed too. I didn't want to divulge my big secret over the phone. I had so many emotions riding on this picture I had created in my mind.

I persevered. You can't wallow in self-pity on Christmas. We carried on with our usual traditions, one of which is driving around looking at the lights. As I was getting The Boy bundled up, The Mr. comes in and exclaims: You aren't going to believe this, but it's snowing.

And not just a couple of flakes. It was really snowing. Big white fluffy flakes. Covering everything.

On Christmas Eve.

Speechless. Tears. Tears, not from sadness, but from joy.

I knew that snow was a gift for me.

We stood in the driveway and watched as The Boy experienced his first snow. He caught flakes on his tongue. He jumped. He laughed. He squealed his little two year old squeal.

It was beautiful. Everything covered in a blanket of white. The lights casting colorful shadows.

When we returned home The Mr. said he had an idea.

The next day, Christmas morning, we revealed our secret.

And thanks to email, it wasn't over the phone.