Close your eyes and think of the Christmas season. I bet your seeing snow, pine trees, twinkling lights and giggling children sitting on Santa Claus’ lap. Now, with your eyes still closed imagine these words worked into your thoughts of the Christmas season. Imagine the Christmas season being hot, dry, with sand instead of snow and enough sun to bring a sunburn just as fast in December as it will in July. Doesn’t sound like Christmas on television, or that most people are familiar with does it? That’s because it’s my Christmas experience and has been for the past thirteen years in Arizona where I was born and have lived for my entire life. This year that’s all going to change and I may not get a normal cold Christmas, but I’ll get to see what the rest of the winter season is really like in a normal climate and not a desert climate.
My dad accepted a new job offer this year and it’s bringing so much change to our lives. So it’s goodbye Arizona and hello West Virginia. I don’t know much about West Virginia, but my dad said that snow is a normal occurrence every winter. If there is going to be actual snow then I’m all in for it. I’ve never been away from Arizona and that’s why I’ve never seen snow. Well I mean I've seen it on television and in the movies, but I’ve never seen it first hand. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to run in that white fluffy stuff and make snowballs to throw like they do in the movies. I never thought I would ever get the chance to do it, but here I am having my dreams come true. Who says making wishes on birthday cakes doesn’t work? It must, because as far as I can remember I’ve wished on thirteen cakes and now it’s happening for real.
“April, get in the van and let's get this show on the road,” my dad called out from the blue minivan that just screamed soccer mom in every way. Giving the only home I’ve ever known one last look I can’t help, but not feel sad and have a pep in my step as I run to jump in my ride to better things.
It felt like it had been a month of driving by the time we drove past the “Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia” sign, but it will all pay off for me, in the end, I just know it. Even though I haven’t seen the first sign of snow just yet I’m bouncing all over inside just in hopes of spotting a flurry. That’s the last thing I remember thinking about, flurries, as I fell asleep against my hot pink travel pillow that was covered in purple stars.
Ice cold air tickling my nose and fingertips is my wake up call. Slowly my eyes drift open and I see that all the doors on our minivan are wide open. I’m not wearing a jacket since we were driving in a warm van the entire trip, but right now I’m wishing I had one on. My blue leggings and yellow tank top aren’t meant for this kind of weather all I can do is shiver in them. I struggle to unlatch my seat belt to escape the frozen air of the minivan.
Jumping from the back door I hear a slushing sound as my sketchers hit the ground and then I feel it. The cold, wet and frozen stuff slipping into my shoes. That’s the exact moment it hits me. For real, it hit me at that moment upside my head, because that’s when my dad threw a snowball at my face. It hit me on the right side of my face and ran down my shirt. Jumping around trying to free myself from the wet stuff had me looking like I was dancing to some new freestyle hip hop.
I didn’t know if I should run around to get it out, or to jump up and down to cheer for the best thing ever and it is happening to me. Most kids would be upset they were smacked in the face with a snowball, but not me. Nope, I’m pumped. Because it means that my freezing and wet clothes are proof I’m finally in snow. I love it.
The snow is so cold, but yet soft right before it melts from the warmth my body gives off. Dad yells out that it’s good sticky snow that’s great to make snowmen with. That’s even better for me because that’s on my bucket list and I’ll now be able to check it off. My breath is visible when I exhale because of the cold temperatures and the trees surrounding our new little house look like they have been decorated with snow just for my arrival.
Taking off at a dead run I try to see how fast I can run in the snow with it up to my knees, but I find it’s almost like running in water, I don’t get anywhere fast. My mom is chasing me around trying to put a jacket on me, my dad is pelting me with more snowballs and all I can seem to do is run around zigzagging while laughing like a crazy person. Finally, my mom tackles me to the ground and all I can do is laugh with tears streaming down my face.
“What’s wrong April?” my mom asks me. She's very concerned about me crying right now when I shouldn't be.
“Nothing is wrong mom. That’s why I’m crying because it’s perfect. It’s everything I thought it would be and it’s real. It’s not a dream,” I tell her hugging her around her neck tightly.
If I never get anything else I want the rest of my life it will be okay, because this is the best thing ever to happen to me. My whole life I watched kids play in the snow on the television and always wanted to be able to do it. I always felt like kids that lived where it snowed every winter just took advantage of having it and that kids like me who never had been in any snow at all were shorted in life by being neglected the opportunity. Now here I am getting my chance and all I can do is lay in the cold white fluffy stuff making snow angels while crying tears of joy.
It’s perfect. Flopped down in the snow and watching little flurries drift toward my face is the best thing ever in my life. It’s just perfect.