Sunday, November 07, 2021

the first snowfall of 2021.

It didn't snow much last year in Beijing. Not enough to put on snowsuits and make snow angels and build snowmen. 

The last time we played outside in the snow was the beginning of 2020. (Yes, that 2020, the 2020 that brought us Covid.) Mabel was 2 years old and I don't think she remembers any of the stress and uncertainty of that time. I think she only remembers the good things, like the unlimited family time and playing on a whole soccer field of untouched snow

All day yesterday, Mabel talked about snow—"It's going to snow tomorrow!" I hoped for her sake it would. Then right before bedtime, it started snowing! 

Her refrain changed from "It's going to snow!" to "It is snowing!" and she quickly added, "We're going to play in it tomorrow!" 

I explained that we didn't know that for sure. I explained that it could stop snowing, that it might not snow very much, that it could start raining and that would wash away the snow, that the AQI might be too high for us to go outside. Killjoy much? 

I just didn't want her to be disappointed. 

As the kids slept, and Tony and I watched The Sopranos, the snow continued falling. We were hopeful. 

Mabel insisted on bringing carrots, sure we would build a snowman. 

In a very rare turn of events, Mabel slept until 8AM(!) this morning. When she woke up, she ate her breakfast at record speed, while Tony and I gathered all of the items we would need for the kids to play outside. We were thankful for hand-me-down snowsuits and relieved that the snow boots from last year still fit (just barely; we'll need to buy new ones). 

I wish that I had walked outside ahead of the kids to capture their first reactions, especially Clarke's "Wow" and look of amazement. I'm pretty sure his mouth was a perfect O. This was his first time playing in snow!

In the spirit of full transparency, there might have been more grumpy faces and tears than smiles. It was windy and cold, and I said more than once, "You guys would never survive in Canada!" 

We had fun though. Mabel made a few snow angels. 

In the beginning, Clarke stood very close to Tony and just took it all in. He got into it eventually and started making snowballs and chasing people around. He even wiped out once and fell face first, but got up still laughing. 

The snow wasn't packy enough to make snowmen, but we made little snow castles. 

Mabel wanted nothing to do with a family photo; this was the best we could get :) 

I want to remember the sound their little snowsuits made as they walked—swish, swish, swish—and that Mabel happily noticed the sound too. 

I want to remember that as we were getting them dressed to go outside, Tony said, "I'm sweating." I laughed and said that the fact we don't need to do this every day is one reason to be glad we don't live in Canada. 

I want to remember that both kids ran to see themselves in the mirror, so excited about their winter getups. 

I want to remember that before we even came back inside, Mabel was asking for hot chocolate. 

I want to remember that Clarke quickly drank his cup of hot chocolate, said "Yummy!" and asked for more. 

Here's hoping for more snowy days in Beijing this winter!

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