I know when you hear "snow in Texas", your instinct is to drop your jaw and assume the world is coming to an end, but contrary to popular belief, it actually snows here, a lot.
We've lived here in Abilene for 4 winters now. Can you believe that? Ok, well I'm sure you can, but my brain is still having a hard time accepting it. We really live in Texas? I really just saw an armadillo on the side of the road? By Walmart no less?
When I imagined the life that we'd have as a family, you know all that daydreaming we do when we're younger, cactus and rattlesnakes certainly weren't in the picture. For those of you who don't follow my writing as closely as you should (ok so I'm a bit full of myself this morning, its the extra nap I took yesterday afternoon, rest always turns me into a different person), we're a military family, trapped in a black hole known as "Dyess Air Force Base". The military brought us to Texas, and we may never leave.
When my daughter Eleanore (now 3 1/2) was 15 months old. We took her out into her first snow. We ourselves were shocked that it could snow 6 inches, on Thanksgiving especially (the year before it was 82 on Thanksgiving, and we had closed all the blinds and turned the AC up to 60 degrees so that it felt cold like it would have up in the Pacific NW), because it never snowed that much back home in Washington State (see people think it snows all the time there, but it really doesn't, it actually snows more here in Texas). Eleanore's reaction was less than joyful...
And then this Christmas Eve, we had a blizzard. No, thats not an exaggeration, the snow was actually falling horizontally, and visibility was next to nothing. I braved the white out to drive to Target (at least if I died on the way, you'd know I had somewhere important to be huh), and returned after only losing control of the car twice. I am no expert in snow driving, thats for sure. By the afternoon the storm had cleared out, leaving 5 inches of the ice crystals in the shallow spots, and a couple feet in the drifts.
Eleanore, who had more than doubled her age since the last time we took her out into the cold stuff, was jumping up and down in her blue puffy coat, begging to go outside. I kept telling her as soon as the snow stopped and wouldn't burn our eyes (seriously, you'd think it was fire falling from the sky, not ice) we'd go outside.
And oh! It would be Charlie's first snow!!
His reaction was so much different from his sisters first encounter with the winter weather. I had walked around holding him for awhile, and then decided that since he was in his warm bear suit, he'd probably be just fine to set down. He kinda just sat there for a minute, smiling, before he decided to start exploring the fluff with his mitten covered fingers. About 10 minutes into his failed attempts at crawling through it, the tears kicked in, and Mama was there to swoop him up (after letting him scream while I was taking pictures, of course. the neighbors on the left of us who won't even so much as look in our direction finally looked, haha) and give him loves.
I love comparing my kids reactions to different experiences (I can't wait to see how Charlie does with potty training when we get there). Their personalities are just so different. Charlie is brave and not afraid of anything (other than people, sheesh, if you even look in his direction he'll start crying), while Eleanore has recently developed a bug phobia (since when is a pill bug scary?) but loves to be around people, she assumes everybody is her new best friend.
Dangit, I should have thrown the cat out in the snow to see her reaction. Frozen little paw prints. Oh well, next time, hee hee...