First Snowman

On Saturday, Owen and I went outside to play in the snowy backyard. Our venture wasn’t totally successful. I tried to interest Owen in snowballs and accidentally threw one (a soft one) in his face. He was surprised, but didn’t cry. He kind of liked it when I threw them at his feet. The snow was almost sticky enough to make a snowman, so with some effort, I rolled a big ball of snow into position and made Owen stand and pat it with his mittens. He was tired, so once he fell over he made little effort to stand back up and sat staring at my attempts to make not-very-sticky snow bind together. Eventually, we had a smallish snowman. I ran into the house to get a carrot and some grapes, knowing that it would be the face that would transform this activity from boring and cold to awesome and magical. Initially, Owen was more interested in eating the grapes than helping me make the face (Note: icy cold grapes are really delicious and should be consumed outdoors more often). Once the face was complete, though, Owen understood (I think) what we were doing out there.

That night, we waved goodbye to the snowman from Owen’s bedroom window, and the next day, whenever we encountered a snowman in a book, Owen would point at the picture and then gesture outside, as if to say: we too have a snowman. It started to snow again on Sunday morning, and that snow turned to rain by evening. By morning, our snowman’s head had fallen off. I thought Owen might be troubled by this development. After all, he hasn’t seen the cartoon about Frosty the Snowman and how he’ll be back again someday.

This morning, encountering another snowman in a book, Owen got off my lap and trotted into the kitchen, pointing toward the back yard. I lifted him up to show him the decapitated snowman.

“He’s there, but he lost his head,” I said.

“Uh oh,” he replied. “Bye bye.”

Indeed.

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