“Mom, where does snow come from?” my son asked as we walked to school after a two hour delay.
Tiny little flakes swirled in the air and behind us we left a trail of foot prints in the sidewalk. Bundled with hats and gloves and scarves, he wiggled his face from the warmth and asked again, as if I couldn’t hear him through the crocheted yarn covering his nose and mouth.
“It comes from the sky,” I told him.
“But how?” He wanted to know.
“I think it has something to do with how cold it is and precipitation.” I try to recall all those science lessons from elementary school. Meanwhile, his little sister has taken a big bite of it that she had scooped up in her hand. I shook my head, “Don’t eat the snow, it’s dirty.”
I sigh. “We live in town. There are dogs and shovels and people trudging through this path. It’s dirty.”
My explanation must have hit home, because my daughter made a face and quickly dumped the rest of the snow in her hand. My oldest laughed from behind us. She’s the slowpoke of the group, not at all enthused that she will have to turn around and walk back to the house only after we reach the school. It is mornings like this I wonder why I didn’t opt to cyber school all of my children, then I remember this thing called – peace and sanity.
“Why is it snowing?” my son said.
“Didn’t I already explain that?” He is so scientific I thought for sure he would understand why it was snowing. “It’s cold. The moisture in the air has froze and it falls to the ground.”
“No. I mean why is it snowing? It’s not even winter yet!”
Ah, there it is, that logical perception inside him that often frustrates both of us.
“No one told Mother Nature it wasn’t winter yet. It’s December, so it snows.” Then I proceed to tell me kids how it would snow in September or October and always in November when I was their age. The snow would rise to my waist – about three feet high- when I was as old as my oldest child. They roll their eyes at me. No one wants to hear that Mom was a kid once, too. Or that it actually can snow in the fall month’s too.
“Winter isn’t until December 21st!” My son exclaimed with a shiver.
“Says who?” I asked.
We’re at the school now. My youngest ran ahead and into the school where it was warm. My oldest turned on her heel heading back down the hill. My son crosses his snow laden arms. “What is the sense of having a calendar if no one follows it?”
He’s agitated, I think more so because of a date on a calendar and an assumption that snow only comes in the winter than the fact that it is now snowing in large flakes and filling in the tracks we have made up the sidewalk.
“I believe it was man that man our calendar. But snow is made by nature and nature is controlled by God. It has no calendar.”
“I thought you said Mother Nature made the snow?”
“I’m sure Mother Nature is in cohorts with God. They’re probably a team, like everyone in our family works together as a team to do chores. I’m sure even God knows he needs helpers.” The bell for school rings and I gave my son a hug.
“So it can snow anytime because God says so?”
“Something like that.” I watch him go into the school, relieved.
And here I thought I had to get all scientific about why it snows and all I really had to do was say was this is the way God designed the world to work.
Why else would it snow? How silly of me.
Next time, I’ll leave the explanations to their father. For now, I’ll enjoy making new footprints in the snow. I put my arm around my daughter and we huddle together in the cold as we walk home.
Stay warm, there are more days of snow ahead.