Our first snow of the season fell this week. Here in western Maryland snow is something that we take for granted. Sometimes, we even dread it. But when I saw the look my 4 year olds face as he watched the snow fall from the sky I remembered how much I loved the snow when I was younger. I would be so excited when it finally started to snow! I would gather all of my snow gear: boots, gloves, scarf, hat, extra clothes, snow suit and sled. Then I'd sit at the back door and anxiously wait as the snow took forever to pile up high enough for me to go and play in it. The best snows were the ones that started really early, so that as soon as you woke up you could go outside.
When I was in 4th grade my parents relocated our family from Maryland to Tulsa, Oklahoma....where it never snowed!! We had "ice days" out in Oklahoma. If there was just a flurry of snow we'd go crazy! I can only remember having two snows that were good enough to make a small snowman with during the 4 years that we lived there. When we moved back to Maryland, I was ecstatic when I saw the first snow fall that year. It was beautiful.
As I got older the snow stopped meaning as much. I guess I got bitter. And getting stuck in my house alone during one bad winter while I was a sophomore in college didn't help. But earlier this week when I saw my son it took me back. I remembered how wonderful it was. Another day this week while I was at my internship, at a local elementary school, it began to snow, hard. I was walking down the back hall of our school and got to see 2 of our new students, both Spanish speaking students from different countries.... countries that didn't get snow. They were walking outside just long enough to let the tiny little snowflakes fall on their faces. They had the biggest smiles I have ever seen on their little faces. It was then that I realized how much we take for granted. It's so obvious to see the big things that we take for granted: our safe neighborhoods, yummy food, a warm bed, wonderful family and irreplaceable friends. But it's as easy to recognize the little gifts from God, such as our healthy children, and snow that we take for granted as well. I know that I have learned to take a step back and look at all the precious things around me, big and small.