11 February 2013

Snow Tragic.

Johan's aunt and uncle sent us a photo of their New York backyard yesterday.  Taunting us:

Meanwhile, this is the view of our backyard:

Yes.  That would be a banana tree herb (Thanks, Sara).

My children haven't seen snow since early 2011.  They probably won't see snow again until they have firmly forgotten what true cold feels like.  Lou thinks that socks are a novelty.  She has one pair and knows they are for decoration only.

The picture of snow, glorious snow, prompted my kid to dig out a photograph we brought with us to Kinshasa.  It's Elias, age 4.  Standing angrily near the entrance to the L on Metropolitan in Brooklyn.  He is enveloped in a black puff coat.  Furiously frozen.

I remember the whiny misery of that walk.  The coat was not warm enough.  The mittens were itchy.  The snot was running down his sulky face.  He wanted to be carried.  I did not want to carry him.  It was so New York cold.  

Terribly romantic, now that I think about it.

But, now, two years removed from snow, this picture is the stuff of dreams and miracles.  He stared lovingly at this former him for a long time. I think I even saw him gently touching the glossy paper.  Then, he looked up and demanded, "Where is that coat?  I need that coat."

I didn't have the heart to launch into an explanation of how the coat was probably already too small now and would definitely be too small by the time he needed anything heavier than long-sleeves rolled up to the elbow.  I also didn't tell him that the coat has either been passed on to someone else or is deep in the dusty corner of our storage space - I can't remember.  I didn't say how awful the cold can be.  How numbing to a day at the park.  I didn't show him Charlotte's wind-chapped cheeks.  And I didn't remind him that he lives in a constant sauna on the equator where a puffy coat hasn't ever needed to make an appearance.

Vintage image from here.

Instead, I said, "Oh yeah you do.  You totally need that coat."

For the time being, he's happy to be placated.  But, someday soon, I think we'll need to find some snow.


  1. Having been back in the snow for the first time in 8 years, I can attest to wishing I could give all of it to Eli. I would even bring him his coat, if it meant I could get back home, hahaha :)

  2. There's not a whole heck of a lot of romance in wearing a huge puffy coat and gloves, but I will attest to the romance of sitting by a crackling fireplace and sipping hot tea while fluffy flurries flutter. (-: I also love the way Burt's Bees medicated lip balm makes my lips tingle.


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