It was one of those long Winter nights, you know, after Christmas but months before Spring. Night owl that I am, I was wandering about in my pajamas thinking to myself that I should get some sleep…lots to do tomorrow.
My oldest daughter, Haley was about 4. Like me, she would often fight sleep…I think she was afraid she was going to miss something really important. I was washing the dinner dishes in the sink and watching the snow accumulating outside the kitchen window, wondering how bad the roads would be tomorrow. Much to our dismay, we hadn’t had snow for Christmas that year; not much snow at all up to that point, but it had been falling for hours. I was noticing how bright the moon was when I heard Haley behind me, “Momma, it’s snowing”, she said as she smiled with complete and utter joy.
” I see that” I said, smiling back at her. It always amazed me how happy she was about little things. It never took much to please her. She reached her arms up to me so I could hold her up to the window and we both gazed out at the night.
Living in Michigan, it always confuses me why so many people disliked the snow. You would think that they would at least become accustomed to it and find a way to accept it, but most of the people I knew were generally displeased by it…even annoyed. Not Haley, though…she loved it as much as I did.
I looked at her little cherub face glowing with anticipation. I suspect she was thinking about tomorrow and all the fun she would have playing with her new sled. “You want to go play?” I asked her, crinkling my nose at her as though it was our little secret. The responsible mother in me knew it was 2am and I should send her back to bed, but the child in me overcame those thoughts quickly and wanted to embrace the moment. How many moments like this do we really get in a lifetime, after all. Haley giggled uncontrollably, “Oh Yes!” she said as she hugged my neck.
I helped her wiggle into her snowsuit and boots, put on her mittens and hat, and dressed myself for the cold, forgetting we were still in our pajamas. I peeked in at my youngest daughter, Hannah who was sleeping soundly. I thought about waking her to see if she wanted to go out with us, but knew she would think I was crazy. She is not a fan of Winter. I snuggled her blankets around her and took Haley’s hand as we walked out into the wintery night.
For the next two hours, Haley and I shared the wonder of a moonlit winter’s eve. The clouds made room for the stars and moon to light the night while they showered us with twinkling snowflakes that melted on our noses and cheeks. We build a little snowman and stopped now and then to lie down and make snow angels as we watched the stars shine against the night. It was silent except for our laughter and it felt as though that beautiful night was made just for us. The magical snow sparkled on the ground like a trillion tiny diamonds nestled in cotton. Haley showed me perfect little snowflakes that rested on the fuzz of her baby blue mittens and was amazed when I told her that no two of them are the same.
We stood hand in hand looking upward at the icy glitter falling from above. It was so quiet you could hear it landing on the ground around us as the moon drifted across the sky. Haley laughed when I send handfuls of snow flying over our heads , “do it again!”, she exclaimed as she spread her arms as if she wanted to fly with it. Our faces were cold and rosy red from the crisp air but our spirits were unaffected by the cold. It was truly a Winter Wonderland!The sky started to glow a little brighter as dawn began it’s approach. We slowly trotted to the house, filled with joy….pure and perfect joy. As I helped Haley out of her bundles of snow covered clothing and made two steamy cups of cocoa, I knew this night would always be a part of us. I tucked Haley into bed with Hannah and curled up between them for a few hours of sleep and my soul radiated happiness. I knew in my heart that these are the things of real value. Nothing, past, present, or future, could ever take this away.