Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day

They are two brothers, the taller one stepping ever closer to the smaller one so that the little brother's snowball will actually make contact when thrown.

Twenty minutes earlier I was doling out hats, scarves, gloves.  We live where it snows only a few times each year so we don't invest in snow gear that will be outgrown before it is worn more than three times.  The boys wear warm flannel pajama pants beneath their jeans.  Two pairs of stretchy Dollar Tree gloves on each hand.  Scarves, then coats, then boots.  I top them off with warm hats.  "I want the sheep hat!" Toby claims the funny hat with ear flaps that Noah outgrew last year.

"Mom, I want to try something," Noah explains that he's been reading Little House in the Big Woods and tells me all about how the family made candy by pouring maple syrup into the snow.  "Can we?"  He face is all eagerness and wonder.

I go the cupboard and pull down the bottle of maple syrup.  One quarter inch of brown, viscous liquid rests in the bottom. I hand the bottle to my son with a smile.  He jumps once in excitement and then the door is open and an icy breeze bursts through the house.

I sit with the baby on Noah's bed and we watch the big brothers from the window.  Our too tall grass is poking up through the snow.  I should get my camera, I think to myself.  But I cannot tear my eyes away from the delight on the faces of my two older sons.

Miles pats the window and bounces on the bed as he watches his brothers.  He turns to face me and I know he feels the same.  We should sit here and watch and enjoy and engrave the picture in our hearts.  The baby sits on my lap and leans his head against my chest.  We are satisfied.

They kick at the snow making little trenches through the back yard.  Snowballs, tiny snowmen, gazing in wonder up through the frosty tipped tree branches.  They have entered Narnia and it is magical.

I consider getting my camera again but the thought is interrupted by a loud thud against the window.  We are are under attack! The big brothers are throwing snowballs at us and Miles throws his head back against me, his giggles filling the air like so much soul healing music.  Thud!  Thud!  We are laughing on both sides of the window.

Now Noah runs for the bottle of syrup.  Miles settles back into my arm and I rest my chin on his soft baby hair.  We watch as the boys select the perfect spot for their experiment.  Noah tips the bottle and the maple syrup slowly pours out.  We wait.  A blue jay soars overhead and lands on the fence.  I see Toby touch the maple snow and bring his pincher fingers to his lips.  His eyes open wide and he smiles.  It is good.

They take turns picking at the maple snow candy.  Tasting, delighting, living.  Noah turns to face the window and gives a big gloved thumbs up while he mouths, "It worked!"  I nod and grin back.  He waves to Miles and Miles waves back.  I don't want my camera.  I want to memorize this moment.  No paper photograph can capture this sense of joy, beauty, and love.

There is knocking at the back door.  The boys are cold and wet.  We peel off the gloves and coats and scarves and boots.  It is time for hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate with marshmallows and straws.  They sip warmth back into their bodies as Miles dances at their feet.  I lift my eyes heavenward and whisper my thanks.


  1. Beautiful! I love the way your boys interact with each other. And I'm in awe that Miles was content to watch from the window. And yay for maple syrup candy!

  2. Even better than a picture!! Thanks for sharing such a special moment. I love your writing, Jeana you have sooo many talents!

  3. No need for pictures, your words created beautiful images in my mind that a picture would never be able to capture. What a joy full day you had my friend. Yet another one of God's many blessings!

  4. Your post reminds me of this one (once again on Ann Voskamp's blog).


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