Our Oldest doesn't enjoy snow play anymore, of course, at 18. Middle Son can still be tempted to come out for a little while. But it's My Youngest who will be found eagerly watching the snow fall and anticipating what kind it will be.
"Do you think it'll be too powdery to pack?"
"This looks like great snowball snow!"
"I don't think it's sticking - a bad sign."
When the boys were little, I was their favorite snow companion. My trips into the snow with my boys were about the wildlife, and how they might be getting along. Or about the snow itself - could we see individual snowflakes, and what shapes were they? What did it taste like? Feel like? Smell like? And on and on --- But as they each reached a certain age, they wanted me to be getting the hot chocolate ready while they went out with their Dad.
And I know why. Because SNOW means WAR.
A nice deep snowfall is just one more opportunity to fight and win a battle!
And so, while stirring the hot chocolate, I snapped these from the kitchen window. A snow battle in progress, and My Youngest cheerfully losing to his Battle Buddy/Enemy, his Dad!
Behind the snow wall, he's safe from that incoming snowball. Can you see it on the right edge of the photo?
Bolder now, having dodged quite a few, he's up and batting snow bombs away from his wall.
But nothing can save him from the Dog Who Destroys Snow Walls and the Dad Who Will Conquer (any son who is not taller than himself).
The boys actually like the fact that that their dad will always win. And there's something ponderable there --- they would be disappointed if he didn't exit a game of strength/agility/grit as a complete and total hero. And so they continually test themselves against him, striving for that golden day when they will finally be stronger, faster, better.
I see, in watching them, how often we position the leader of the family as the Victorious Person; The One who holds the standard (nearly) impossibly high. And I'm beginning to realize how sad it is when we grow old enough to recognize the inevitable frailty of age. When the heroes finally emerge, as they always really were, fallible and vulnerable humans, somewhat shabbily dressed in worn hoses and flat capes.
I'm finding that flat cape especially hard to deal with.