I remember the first time I saw snow. It was 8:30 am and I was at the 6th floor of 700 Albany Street watching it fall in tiny flakes, coating the rooftops. It mesmerized me so much that when my boss came in to see me staring out the window instead of starting my experiment for the day (probably PCR or DNA extractions) all I could blurt out was “Look! Snow! Pretty!” He laughed at my naïveté.
Because I grew up in a tropical country, my knowledge of snow (winter, really) was full of misconceptions:
I thought it tasted like sugar.
I didn’t know it came in various types ranging from coat the power lines wet to snowball perfect to powdery.
I didn’t know that wearing an ugly puffy jacket was better than 4 layers under a stylish wool coat.
I didn’t know it turned slushy dirty a few days after it coated the world white.
I didn’t know that it could persist in pile form until March.
I didn’t know that shoveling it was a pain, literally.
My Swedish friend R has warned me about my penchant for eating snow. You don’t know what’s in there, she says. Don’t be fooled by how nice and white and clean it seems. She begged me to melt a bowl of it and see how dirty it was.
But snow is among the (weird) things that Katie and I love to eat. It is on the level of marshmallow Peeps, Cadbury mini eggs and edamame as our favorite treat foods. We now have a standard for eatable snow (if possible, freshly fallen, take the top layer from at least Katie height on plants..) which makes me feel a teeny bit better about the minuscule dirt particles we are ingesting.
It’s foolish but I think the joy outweighs the consequences. Someday I know Katie will find everything I do or say to be annoying and uncool and I’m kind of okay with that. In the meantime, we shall eat snow. Together.