As a kid, I remember loving the snow in the wintertime. Snow meant snowball fights in the backyard, soggy gloves, hats, and scarves, hot chocolate, sledding and building snowmen. It was so easy to find joy in snow as a kid. If we had a good amount of snowfall, my dad would pack us all in the car, drive to Astoria Park, and we’d sled down the steep hills, until we shivered or were exhausted.
Photo by Igor Cancarevic on Unsplash
At home, we would play out in the yard until our fingers hurt from the cold. We’d head into my grandfather’s workshop (my grandparents lived right next to us) and we’d hang our gloves, hats and scarves on my his portable radiator. We’d spend time there with him, watching him build or tinker with his latest project until the feeling came back to our fingers and toes.
Still, the biggest joy we could have in the winter was a snow day from school. How awesome it was to get a day off to play in the snow!
As I got older, my reaction to snow changed. Snow meant trudging through grey puddles on corners, freezing cold wet socks, and navigating unshoveled sidewalks in order to get to work. It meant leaving work after a long day, only to make the same trek back, except this time attempting it in the dark. It also meant making the “life or death” decision of… do I risk my life to drive to work in this blizzard because the schools are not closed?
Photo by Kent Henderson on Unsplash
Now, with kids of my own, the snowy day brings back the joyful childhood memories of snow. Watching the look on my son’s face as he sees the snow fall outside the window fills me up. I’m filled with gratitude that we don’t have anywhere we have to go today, and we can just enjoy watching the snow fall on the trees and sidewalks, drink hot chocolate, and enjoy spending time with each other inside.
I think about how once the snow stops, we will get to bundle ourselves up, head outside and sled down the hills in the park across the street. We’ll get to share in the joy that our little guy will have playing in the snow for the first time this season. Sure, there will be grey slushy puddles to cross, this is New York after all, but navigating icky corners will lead to a world of fun and excitement – snowball fights and snowman building – that will spark joy-filled memories for all of us for years to come.
Do you have current or past snowy day traditions that bring joy to you? Share them in the comments below!