Daylight Snowfall

Welp, here’s another little thing, much shorter than the last one though.
It’s really just a scene inspired by some recent weather, and a distant memory.

Enjoy.

~

Sunbeams sparkle and flicker all around us. Inside this cloud of snow, we stand secluded from all else. Hidden behind the wispy fog, deep within our own little realm, we can enjoy this present peace. Millions of flakes draw indiscernible patterns in the air before sticking against every exposed surface. Spindly branches become woolly fingers as snow collects upon them. Harsh angles and sharp edges become smooth contours and rolling curves. Their shapes softened by the overlay of a white blanket; everything becomes nicer, gentler, more friendly. The bleak colors of mournful winter are—if only by an inch—buried. But as far as one of us is concerned, the snow is miles deep.

The chilly wind whips against us, and cold as it may be, we ignore the icy particles that drag across our reddened faces. There are three of us out here, and we are each completely enraptured by the focus of our attention. We have more important things to worry about than whether or not our faces are cold.

Not far away, a couple yards at most, our little boy is playing. Tripping and toddling, he romps through the glistening wonderland. His own familiar playground paved anew in white, as only once he’s seen before. He’s trying to make a snowman, just like I showed him last time. To him there is no cold, no outside world, no worry or care; only a snowman that needs to be built.

Beside me stands his mother, and she watches over her child vigilantly. With her fierce green eyes, she looks upon the scene before us. Attentive to every little movement, she can hardly keep herself from dashing forward to pluck him from the snow after a tumble. Lines tense across her face as she remains still, reluctantly choosing to wait, and let her little baby stand up on his own. On his feet again, the ordeal is over; he resumes his task, and she relaxes. To her there are no others, sometimes not even me; only him. He is safe under her gaze.

From my position, a mere foot behind her, I observe the whole scene. Like her, I see our child as he plays; together we watch our bundled-up bundle of joy. Just for today, just for now, we’re the only ones on earth. I know that the snow won’t accumulate, and I know that the sun will soon melt what little of it has stuck, but right now I’m enjoying the moment.

“Look at him.” I lean closer, whispering in her ear with a chuckle. “There’s not even an inch of snow, but he’s still gonna to build a snowman.”

She says nothing in response; she doesn’t need to. I can see the corner of her mouth turn up, if ever so slightly. Sure enough, we watch as a second snowball is placed on top of the first. Unsurprisingly, both are riddled with leaves. All across the yard, leaves and twigs are poking through the otherwise pristine white surface. Not my preferred conditions for making a snowman; however, I’m not the one making it.

As before, he tries vainly to pull some of the leaves from his snowman, but he struggles to grip anything with his bulky mittens. After a minute of trying, he waddles away to begin making a third snowball. His departure is announced with the rustle of polyester snow pants, and the crunch of tiny boots in shallow snow. I make my move toward the snowman, bending down as I reach it, to pluck out a few of the leaves. My hands are unhindered by gloves, but the cold numbs my fingertips. Ignoring that, I pack some clean snow over the spots where I can’t quite get at the blemishes. I know he’s very adamant about everything being just so, but I also know he’ll be upset if he notices me touching his snowman.

What he doesn’t know, can’t hurt him.

Satisfied that I’ve helped, but not too much, I rise and brush the ice from my hands. As I turn away from the snowman, I look over to see him beginning to roll a new snowball.

The snowball is at his feet, and he bends down to reach it, but he remains bent, squatting in one position for too long; too long for anything good to be happening. His hands are on his knees, and I know darn well he’s doing. For a second, my instinct tells me to rush and grab him, but I don’t. There’s no point in doing anything now, we’re too far from the potty. In a few seconds, he’s back to pushing the snowball along, as if nothing is different. But something is different; a messier sort of different.

I look back to my wife; she gives me a look in return. She tosses a glance toward him, then back to me; she’s asking a question. I know she just saw what happened, but there’s something I know that she doesn’t; a little something I did on a hunch that turned out to be correct.

“I saw it, don’t worry.” I smile, knowing my preparation had not been in vain. “I figured this might happen; I put him in pull-ups before we came out.”

A slight look of relief dances across her features. At least we won’t be cleaning messy clothes when we go inside. It’s only a small consolation, but it alleviates some of her concern. The remainder, of course, is likely disappointment that we’ve apparently not made as much progress as we thought yesterday. She sighs heavily, “oh well…”

“You win some, you lose some,” I offer in response, taking my place at her side. “I’ll change him when we go in; he’s due for a nap soon anyway.”

She doesn’t say a word, but shifts her weight from one foot to the other. She’s probably getting cold from standing still; I have to admit that I am too.

“We’ll let him finish his snowman before we go inside,” I kiss the side of her head, “sound good?”

I ignore the lack of response, content to stand silently as we watch our little boy. It looks like he’s almost finished with his last snowball, but I detect movement to my right. Glancing over, I find her looking down; something else has her attention at the moment. I turn my gaze back toward our child. He’s squealing and giggling as he toddles back with the snowball in his arms.

Amidst his playful noise, I hear another sound. A tiny gasp; barely audible to most. But as she draws in breath, as she lets it out in a prolonged note, I hear a pitch-perfect imitation of my favorite sound. A sound I’ve heard before, but also a sound that I hear again for the first time, every time I hear it. It’s a beautiful sound.

I reach out and softly put a hand on her shoulder; she jumps ever-so-slightly at my touch. I lean in and whisper in her ear, “exactly how many diapers am I gonna have to change when we go inside?”

She doesn’t turn, and I’m not looking, but I can feel her crack a smile. “Well,” she says absently, I feel her hand begin to travel down my back, “that depends on you.”

“Why would you think I’m wearing one?” I grin as I watch the nearby snowman gain a head. Feeling a squeeze on my left buttock, I preemptively answer the inevitable question about my claim. “That brand is forbidden in this house; you know that!”

“Very funny…” she says dryly, with annoyance; the squeeze becomes a slap.

I return with a slap of my own. The padding that greets my hand from beneath her jeans is warmer and more firm than I remember. It’s a smooth, consistent firmness that I’m confident means I still only have one messy diaper to change. “You sound pretty cranky to me, maybe you need to go down for a nap as well.”

“I’m not tired.” she says. I catch a hint of defensiveness in her voice.

“That wasn’t a question.” I deliver another light slap. She knows what it means, and I know it too. I know that she knows that only one of us is going down for a nap right away. We may still get our naps, just not until later.

And would you look at that, the snowman is finished!

Re: Daylight Snowfall

A wonderfully sweet little story. The syntax does require some thought to decipher at times, but to me that adds to the slow and quietly contemplative feel of the whole piece, demanding that it be read in that way.

Thank you for writing and sharing.

Re: Daylight Snowfall

Agreed. A wonderful little vignette that reads like a lazy winter afternoon, feet kicked up next to a warm hearth.

Re: Daylight Snowfall

That was a very sweet slice-of-life story. I enjoy the touch of abstract in your description, and how you word things without directly stating them. harsh angles and sharp edges become smooth contours and rolling curves. Instead of saying something more cliche/ common like “snow covers the ground”, you describe how the snow shapes and affects the landscape. Description like that seems to be part of your innate style when comparing this with your other work, ‘Meet Destiny’. I hope that doesn’t sound like I’m saying it’s a bad thing- completely the opposite. It’s part of your writer’s voice, even though this story and your other one have very different tones. Versatility as a writer while keeping your own voice. Ugh, I’m not making much sense, am I? In a nutshell, well-written.

I love when a story is well written so I can read between the lines. Like in the paragraph when you describe the mother and how focused and protective she is on her son. That’s followed by “From my position, I observe the whole scene.” Maybe I just read too much into things, but to me that comes across as he’s watching over both his child and his wife, just as his wife watches over their child.

As for squeezing the butt at the end- was that a pun on Squeeze the Charmin? xD Hehe, that was cute. xD

Only one of us is going down for a nap right away. An innuendo eh? I see what you did there. Giggity. :cool: