My Mom only wanted one thing for Christmas, and that was for it to snow in Southern Arizona. It happened for a few days last year, but it did not seem like it was going to happen over the holidays this time. She must have been on the “Nice” list this year, as she got her wish right before they headed back home.
It has now snowed on Fort Huachuca in both of the two years that we have been here. Last year, it snowed the day after I returned from picking the girls up from their winter break with their mother, and then for a sporadic few days after that. Definitely got my Christmas wish that year.
When I left the house early that morning, there was a little bit of snow on my windshield, but nothing serious. As I left the Commissary though, it had really started to fall. Little did I know, back at the house, Grandma and the girls were already at the windows peeking out in amazement.
Before I could even get the words out to change, Elaina and Gabriella started putting their winter jackets over their pajamas. No, no, no. I properly changed them, including Gabriella’s insulated jeans, hats, and gloves. Instead of their rain boots though, the girls opted for their cowgirl boots (of course). As soon as the snowfall ended, out they ran into the powder.
Because Grandma and Papa were leaving to the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix in a few hours, the girls set out to clean their rental car of snow before they headed out (it also happened to be the best snow to make snowballs, as it did not have grass or dirt on it, so it was not all charitable).
After that, it was snowball time, which generally consists of them hitting me in the face while I hit them from behind in the padded part of their jacket.
There was not as much snow as there was last year, but there was certainly enough to throw a few. A giant snowman was going to be a challenge though, so I started collecting up piles of snow for building.
The girls asked if they could eat some snow, which I was okay with so long as it came from one of the car windows. Did not want Gabriella picking up any snow from the street and cracking her teeth on some gravel or something. It would just be terrible for all those mornings and nights of consistent brushing to go down the drain.
Next came the snow angels. Gabriella makes good angels, but we need to work on her technique on getting up, as she tends to step all over the edges of her work.
Elaina, on the other hand, has gotten her technique down pat, falling and all. Why don’t you help out your little sister a bit, eh?
Tom, my stepdad (Papa to the girls), got a rude awakening to the girls having a snowball fight when he walked right into an ambush. As soon as he got outside, Elaina smacked him directly in the face with a snowball. I turned around in time to see him with a half-white face, taking off his glasses to wipe off the snow. He took it like a good sport, getting in on the fun shortly after, but Elaina certainly had to apologize for it.
After about 30 minutes outside, Elaina was starting to get a little cold, so I set up the space heater inside and made her a cup of hot chocolate.
We definitely have the five-to-ten minute drill down. Take off you boots, sit down in front of the space heater, and take five to ten minutes to warm up before heading back outside. Since the snow was already starting to melt, they did not want to waste any more time inside than was absolutely necessary.
After her hot chocolate, Elaina headed back outside, where Gabriella and Grandma were finishing up the snowman that she had started. While we were fresh out of the normal building supplies, a baby carrot and chocolate chips worked just fine (even though much of the latter went conspicuously missing). As they finished the snowman and got ready to head out, Grandma and Papa both had a great couple hours of snow with the girls, which was a great ending to an almost perfect Christmas. As for the girls, if you give them snow, they will give you smiles in return (and most likely snowballs as well).
Just looking at the snow days of the past, I can see the changes in my daughters. Not just in the coats and boots that they outgrew, but the changes in their height, weight, expressions, and facial features (Elaina saw this picture and said “What happened to Gabby’s chubby cheeks?”). As paraphrased above, I will say the same thing that I said to my former brother-in-law when he had the first of his two daughters: “You are going to hear this from a lot of fathers, so please take it to heart. The time that you have with them is going to fly by, and before you realize it, they are going to be all grown up. Do not take this time with them for granted.”
Thanks for checking in on us.