Zia Hassan

Did It Snow

The night before a potential snowstorm was magical. No snow had actually touched the ground yet, and of course, our parents made us do all our homework even though the weather station was predicting a few inches in the morning because, hey, they could be wrong.

So we’d go to sleep in the same way kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve. So excited you can’t sleep, but anxious because you want to sleep so you can just fast forward to the next morning and see what you got.

And then when we wake up, for a moment we’re not sure what day it is. We get up like we always do and walk to the bathroom until we remember… ah! It may have snowed!

And at first, we listen. Are the parents up? Do we hear the sounds of the neighborhood waking up and starting cars outside, or do we hear the rough scratchy sound of a shovel against pavement? We look out the window and sure enough, there it is on the ground in blankets. And it’s still coming down. And there’s no way a bus can get through it.

Though it’s not necessary, we check the TV anyway and watch the list of counties scroll through until, there it is, our county is closed for the day. The rest of the day can be whatever we want, but probably consists of a little shoveling and a lot of sledding. Maybe the neighborhood friends will come join us in the tundra, creating a lasting memory. Maybe we’ll hang out at someone’s house afterward and their parents will make us hot chocolate. And we’ll go to bed that night feeling full and happy.

And if there isn’t snow?

Well, it’s the equivalent of waking up Christmas to no gifts. No gifts, AND you have to go to school. It’s the biggest let down in the world because expectations are a bitch.

But we’ll still have a collection of these days in our memories. Maybe 10, 20, or 30… of days that were supposed to be spent doing whatever it is we were going to do… but instead were spent unexpectedly remembering that pure joy is contagious. That play is essential. And that warmth and cold are siblings.

And that, just for a moment, even if by force… the entire city can shut down and relax together.