Snowed in and surrounded by a winter playground

There’s something special about the first real snow of the season. I’m not sure we needed this storm to be so special—with something like 30 inches and biting winds—but my children would disagree. This storm is the answer to their prayers.
For them, it’s like having oceanfront property. They can walk outside and find endless amusement—in our very own backyard. Amazing.

In fact, the greatest challenge of Snow Day #1 was that their mother wouldn’t let them play in it after it got so deep and windy and bitterly cold out there.
They are so excited to build forts and have snowball fights. They can’t wait to sled (which I think they might be able to do when it’s less fluffy) and stomp around and shovel and do everything you do in the snow.
I would be content to stay inside in the warmth and sip hot chocolate, but I go outside because they are having so much fun. And we have so much snow.

I remember big snows as a child when the world was brand-new and different and exciting. So I go outside with my camera and play and trail them around the yard and yelp as the snow slips down into my boots and I realize that I really need better snow gear for myself.
But the experience is really magical. When we came in from one of our trips outside, I was helping Leo take off his clothes when we noticed that some snow had stuck to the door behind him.
And it looked just like a fish.

A few minutes later, it had melted in the warmth of the house, just as the snow outside will all melt eventually. But not anytime soon.
We are completely snowed in. If we can dig ourselves out—and I’m relying on a friendly entrepreneurial teen who came once today with his snow blower to help us—we will escape at some point. But right now that’s hard to imagine.

As we were working on a 750-piece Star Wars puzzle that may take us until next winter, I thought I should let the children know that this weekend would be different.
“We probably aren’t going to make it to Sunday Mass,” I said. “We can watch Mass on TV, and we can have our own Mass in the living room. Maybe we can say a Rosary or think of something else special we could do.”
From across the room, Daniel piped up, “Like not hitting each other.”
I hesitated just a moment and then said, “Yes, like that.”
So that’s how we’ll spend our Sunday—not hitting one another.

Hope yours is just as wonderful.

Catholic Review

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