Marcus Grant | Managing Editor
Matthew was in the deep holds of sleep when little Ben and Nick crept into the room. Careful, they made their way to either side of his bed, exchanging a playful look before jumping on top of him. He groaned, pulling the two boys close.
“You better have a damn good reason for waking me up this early on a Saturday.” He smiled knowingly. Last night's forecast predicted snow. It hadn’t been a full year since the trio packed up their things and moved to Matthew’s hometown up north.
“There’s snow,” Ben shouted, tugging the sleeve of Matthew’s sweater towards the window. “Look. Look.”
“It’s just like how you said it would be.” Nick’s eyes were glued outside. “Soft and fluffy. And look, our breath is fogging up the window.”
The boys were right. Just across the street, the sun was beginning to poke its head up over the houses, its orange light reflecting off the white sheet covering the yard and cars and trees. Matthew took the boys to the kitchen, piling them in coats and gloves and hats and scarves and winter boots until they complained of the layers before walking them outside.
They ran, nearly falling over into the snow. “Be careful,” he called out.
Together, the pair began piling snow together, attempting to roll it into a ball, their small hands indenting the outside clumsily as they pushed it. Matthew walked over, making a much larger and sturdier ball on the way. He remembered the way he and his father would do this during the first snowfall of every year growing up.
“Mind if I help you boys out?”
They nodded, keeping their attention on their work.
Before long, they mounted the balls together. Matthew removed his hat and threw it on top and Ben ran to get twigs for the arms and Nick gathered rocks from the walkway to make a face.
“All done!” The three looked at their work. Matthew pulled out his phone, motioning for the boys to pose next to the snowman, who Nick decided needed to be called Mr. Snowy. They smiled and distorted their faces as the camera captured Mr. Snowy in all his glory.
Someone called out from down the street. A few kids from their school walked over, tossing snowballs as they did. Ben and Nick looked at their dad, asking with their eyes if they could join them. “Go on ahead.” He waved them off reminding them not to be out for too long.
Once inside, Matthew set his phone up to play some music as he got to work. The boys would probably be hungry when they got back inside so he put some soup on the stove. An idea popped in his head; he got to work mixing flour and eggs and sugar until the dough was ready. Carefully, he lined them on a greased tray, securing a chocolate in the middle of each cookie.
The house was beginning to fill with the warm scent of chicken stock and baked goods when the boys came inside, discarding their snow-covered clothing, trading them for pajamas. Matthew poured each a bowl of hot soup as they sat in front of the fireplace.
Abandoning their bowls, Ben and Nick sat idly as their father warmed up hot chocolate. Adding a little cinnamon shouldn’t hurt, he thought to himself. Finally, he could rest his legs before he would have to shovel the driveway. As he looked over to call the boys for their drinks, he smiled. In a pile of pillows, they were out cold. Midday’s light peaked in from the closed curtains, bringing out the red on their nose and cheeks. Matthew placed warm blankets over the pair before sinking into the couch with a warm cup of cocoa.