On October 31, 1998 in the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia, it started snowing. I looked outside the window of the little first room floor of the hotel I was staying in and saw it. I had seen snow before of course but as a person who grew up in Mississippi, it was rare. To be living in a country where it started so early in the year seemed so magical and exciting. I remember so clearly being filled with such joy that I picked up my new (used) cellphone and called my parents in the U.S., for the sole reason of telling them it was snowing. The short conversation cost an arm and a leg, but I didn't care. I felt an overwhelming urge to connect that current beautiful moment with the place I had left behind.
Last night Ted came in from teaching his class and said, "You've seen what it's like outside, right?" I hadn't. I had put the kids to bed early and was watching Mad Men on netflix. I knew it was supposed to snow but I didn't think it had started. I looked outside and saw our street covered in brand-new snow with more coming down. My favorite thing about snow is how it makes the night-time look so bright. We debated waking the kids up to show them and finally decided not to.
Finally though at 11pm when we were heading to bed ourselves, I decided that they needed to see this. The forecast was saying it would be melting by the morning, so I ran upstairs, Ted right behind me, and we woke Beti up. In her bright-eyed way, she sat straight up and nodded enthusiastically when we asked her if she wanted to go outside and see the snow. Her eyes were puffy and red, but she climbed straight out of bed, and I carried her downstairs. Ted and Abe followed behind me.
I grabbed a bathrobe I saw on the couch and put it over her head. Her legs were wrapped around my waist as we went out to the front porch. We walked down the porch steps and into the sidewalk. It was so bright out there! It was so beautiful. I felt the same elation I felt fourteen years ago in Tatranska Lomnica, Slovakia. I walked Beti over to a tree to show her how beautiful the branches look when they are covered in fresh snow. When she looked up, she got a face-full of snow, so I looked at her and sang, "Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes..." She smiled. She had huge flakes stuck to her huge eyelashes. She was intrigued by the way the snow stuck to my sweater and just hung there in clumps.
At this point, she was starting to shake, so I walked back inside. We put the kids back into bed, and they were instantly back asleep.
Just like the forecast said, it rained the rest of the night ruining that 11pm beauty. All day today, it's been slushy and wet and gray outside. I'm glad we woke them up. It was a moment captured. I'm not sure if they'll remember it, but I know I will.