My daughter is nearly five years old, born and raised in Southern California, and, until this weekend, had never seen snow. We have been promising to take her to The Snow all winter, but there were holiday events to be gotten through, and then The Rains, which would have meant we needed chains on our tires to drive through The Snow, and then we got The Bronchitis.
Sunday morning, when the forecast was for highs in the 70s, the Blah Blahs ventured forth and drove to Claremont, had breakfast at Walter’s, and then drove up Mt. Baldy. Viva was pretty much beside herself from the word jump. When we began driving up the mountain, it was about 74 degrees. Sweet Dub became nervous that The Snow might be inaccessible, perhaps having melted away at the altitude we could get to, and began dropping disclaimers hither and yon. I smiled sweetly at him, as I always do, and said, “Let’s just see what we can see.”
We drove up above the snowline, well past Mt. Baldy Lodge – somewhere above 4,000 feet – and found a place to park by the side of the road amidst a bunch of other snowtime revelers. It was sunny, but there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground; not fluffy, powdery snow, because it had melted and then refrozen, but we were able to pack snowballs and fling them at each other. We also managed to put together a couple of small snowpersons. And, best of all, we made friends with a man and his maybe-9?-year-old daughter Annabelle, who offered the use of her sled in such a sweet little way that I just wanted to kiss her. One does not kiss children who one has just met, so instead I thanked her profusely and beamed warm sunshiny vibes her way, and Viva went sliding down a small slope over and over, chortling in such a ridiculously cute manner that it would just split your heart into pieces.* We later moved on to a much steeper slope, and Viva discovered to her great delight that it is possibly even more fun to slide down snow without a sled. She got completely soaked through, but honestly, the look of abandoned glee on her face let the world know it was well worth it. Aside from which, once home, she went to bed early with no protest at all and slept like a rock.
We took video. I’ll see if I can upload.
* I used this exact phrase to one of my co-workers today, and she said, “Chortled? Leave it to a writer to come up with that word to describe their weekend – who says that?” Later in the day, I was looking up Jabberwocky, which has been floating through my mind all weekend, and I discovered that Lewis Carroll evidently invented that word. Weird synchronicity.