Snowstorms in Houston (using "snowstorm" as an extremely relative term to denote "any amount of snow greater than flurries") typically generate hours of great excitement while they are happening, but then they end, and the sun comes out, and it's all slush within an hour.
Today, we were supposed to get some flurries late in the afternoon and legitimate snow as the sun went away. Instead, the flurries came at about nine this morning, and the flakes started falling around eleven. At that point, we had about four or five hours of real, honest snowfall, just like mama used to make.* Fortunately, I got to spend a good fifteen or twenty minutes with the crazies playing around in the parking lot by the theater around eleven-thirty (they were actually out there for close to forty-five minutes, but I was stuck in a meeting watching through the window for the first half hour). You know the crazies. The ones who completely forsake age and maturity and jump up and down in one place, catching snowflakes on their tongues, trying to scoop enough snow off of the back of a car to make a snowball, building miniature snowmen on coworkers' cars. You know. The crazies.
I love the crazies.
Anyway, the snow was beautiful. Bee-yutiful. And I thought maybe, because it had started earlier than expected, we were going to have a good shot at getting it to stick around overnight, so that I might get to see snow on the grounds of the lovely convent we're performing at tomorrow morning.
Instead, the early snow just meant the "snowstorm" had moved in sooner than expected and left sooner than expected, so that by brillig, it wasn't snowing any more, the sun was starting to come out, and the patches of snow on the grass were already fading.
When I got home, Robbie and I went out for a walk. There were such tiny patches of snow left on the ground that most people wouldn't even bother with them. Robbie, however, picked up those toddler-sized fingerfulls of snow and delightedly pitched them into the puddles left by what had been inch-or-so piles of the white stuff a few hours before. "Splash!" he declared each time his small packet of ice made ripples in the water, and his face would light up with his two-point-five-year-old grin as he giggled, then went back to pick up more tiny bits of snow until his fingers were getting numb.
My son's first impression of "playing with snow" is not quite the activity I grew up with. However, for him, those tiny patches of icy slush held all the awe and wonder that a toboggan ride down the hill behind the old KFC once held for me.
Now, I'm sure that his "awe and wonder" standards will likely be ramped up someday soon, but for now, today was still magic. I won't forget the first time Robbie and I "played in the snow" together.
*Mama never actually made snow fall from the sky.