So last week was pretty bleak. Storm Emma was doing her thing here in the UK and we were being treated to temperatures in the minuses which were much colder than we were used to. It didn’t help that it seemed as though lots of places in the country were being treated to snow days and we hadn’t a flake in sight.
My parents live in the East Midlands and often get snow so we regularly checked the weather forecast and made plans to head down to visit them over the weekend; would you believe that Eli has never built a snowman in his entire life (the last time we had snow, he was a baby!) and he has been desperate to get his building skills on for such a long time that it seemed like an opportunity wasted if we didn’t pack up and go. I was travelling on my own, without James, and it was slightly terrifying after hearing reports of people being stuck on the M62 earlier in the week but we managed to get down (and back again) without a hitch.
My Dad loves being in the snow so I also knew it was a good bet that they’d have someone who was as willing to engage in silly snow fun as they were. I have to say, I was surprised at how much Meg enjoyed it. This is the child who makes a fuss if you ask her to come on a walk with the dog; she’s a homebody in every sense of the word but she spent an absolute age playing in the snow and creating her snowman masterpiece.
Our visit done, we thought we had seen the back of the cold weather and the snow and then, this morning we woke to a total whiteout. It can only be described as a blizzard and it was more snow than they’ve had in decades in this part of the North West, according to my neighbours! After watching cars crawl along the road at a snail pace and hearing reports of crashes just up the road I was relieved when we had the message to sat that school was closed. Finally, a snow day! And my, oh my, were the kids excited.
Once again they donned their wellies and coats and headed outside to enjoy some fun in the snow. It was a LOT more snow than we’d had at my parents and part of the joy was definitely in it being so unexpected. As I sit here and write this, the sun has come out and the snow is rapidly melting but that doesn’t really phase me. The magic was in seeing the wonder on the kids’ faces when they woke up this morning and looked out of their windows. It was the excitement when they realised that they didn’t have to go to school and could instead spend the morning playing in the snow.
And it was Meg who stayed out the longest again, surprising us all, working hard on a little snow creation and just being completely enchanted by the big, soft falling flakes. She crunched up and down the garden, exclaiming and delighting over the inches which kept on building up, the way the snow gathered on the leaves and the branches, and how she could catch the giant flakes on her tongue. It was a truly wonderful thing to watch and it sounds so funny but when snow is a rarity, it makes it all the more precious.
Apart from when we took them to the snowdome in Manchester, neither Meg nor Eli have experienced snow for perhaps four or five years so this was a lovely, and unexpected treat. And I hope that we managed to make the most of it.