Do you want to build a Chinese snow lion?

The kindergarten homework assignment said our family should make a snowman or some other snow creature. We went through several ideas.
“How about a snow fisherman?” I said.
“No,” he said.
“A snow fish?”
“No.”
“A snow dog? A snow bunny? Just an ordinary snowman?”
Nothing I suggested was quite right.
Then the Chinese lion marionette I had ordered arrived in the mail. Our kindergartener walked it around the house like a puppy, talking to it, wearing it as a hat, cuddling with it in bed—until I slipped it out of his bed after he fell asleep.

The next day he knew exactly what he wanted to make: a Chinese snow lion.
Easy enough, right? I sketched the outline for him and we started to decorate. Our project just took off. We spotted some sparkly gem stickers in the clearance bin at the store. I found a package of feathers while looking for something much less interesting. We hunted down two Chinese coins for the eyes. And I pulled out some Chinese New Year stickers I was planning to save for closer to the New Year—but I hadn’t been planning to create a Chinese snow lion.
Our kindergartener was the one who thought of hanging a lantern sticker from a thread attached to a pencil in the lion’s mouth.
And he was the one who carried it carefully to school to stand in front of his class and show them his snow creature.
That night I asked him what his classmates thought.
“They loved it,” said our boy—never a child to understate emotion. “Everyone loved it.”
I bet they did. But they would love a real one even more. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.