I’d gathered the children up and brought them outside. It was Tricia’s first snowfall, and after watching her stare at the heavy falling flakes for half of my lesson on geometry, I figured the children would get more out of playing in the snow than staring at it and ignoring me. I told them we’d be making a snowman, and I gathered up some supplies on the way out the door. We walked single file through the hall to the doors to the playground, and Deborah gave me a nasty look as we walked by her lecturing about George Washington. I knew she’d complain to the super, but I also knew the super wouldn’t care.
We set about rolling the snowballs for the body of our snowman. The snow was heavy and wet – perfect for building, and in no time we had three huge balls. I almost threw out my back lifting the torso of our creation, but once he was assembled he looked pretty good. I had a carrot from the lunch Seamus had packed me, and I let Tricia stick it to the flat patch of snow that we’d chosen to make a face. Eyes were black felt I folded into squares of the right size, mouth was a piece of black string, and, for the coup de grâce, I had an honest to god corncob pipe I had been keeping in my desk drawer for two years for just such an occasion. The group all stepped back. We’d done pretty well.
“Well, Tricia,” I asked, “What do you think of your first snowman?”
She was frowning slightly, and staring at it. “It’s not done yet,” she said.
She took three feathers from her pocket and stuck them into the snowman.
“There,” she said, “now I’ve made my first snow angel.”
Written for dearly missed old friends