Cold and happy

Snow becomes even more romantic when you’re never in it. Every winter holiday, images of the way things should be — purely, sparkly, crisply white — make me feel like we’re missing some kind of magic. This year I really longed to see Finn slide down a hill on an orange saucer and bring to life his own snowman… so although we usually travel to Michigan in the summertime, I bought tickets for February. Instead of our usual Valentine’s picnic on the grass in a pair of jeans and sandals, we hiked across a frozen river behind my parents’ house wearing long underwear and snow pants, boots, and jackets.

It was cold and beautiful, but Finn, seeing snow for the first time, just wanted to play in the stuff. So we did.

At a local park, we went down hills so fast that icy shavings flew up from the surface of the snow into our faces:

Then my father tied a rope to a bright orange saucer and he and Keith took turns pulling Finn in circles:

Unfortunately the snow wouldn’t pack at all, making a real snowball fight and authentic snowman pretty impossible. But we did our best to try. We tossed icy chunks at one another…

… and heaped the slippery snow into a mound that was at the most eight inches high. Our “snowman” was pretty pathetic, but he was ours, complete with red berry eyes, little sticks for arms, and a leaf for hair:

This snow will not pack! But we can't leave Michigan without crossing "snowman" off of Finn's to-do list,

We also relaxed a bit on an idyllic sleigh ride,…

Winter sleigh ride!

…lounged in a comfy chair by the fire with the dog, Willow — otherwise known as “Finn’s pillow,”…

… and at the end of each day, took turns thawing in a lovely claw-foot tub:

Warming up in a claw-foot tub after a cold day of sledding!

Finn’s first snow was, in Finn’s words, “pretty cool.” Then he had to explain with a smile that he meant that “in two ways.”

I agree in both respects, little man.