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Snow - by Mary E Rose

  The winter season brings more than snow to a small family.       Keagan watched out the window as his mother finished putting the last cookie sheet into the oven. Outside, he could see the snow falling along the concrete path that led to the house. He grimaced as he realized his playtime would be cut even shorter since the sun was already setting and it wasn’t even six o’clock. His mother would never let him outside in the dark, even if he didn’t believe in monsters anymore. He smiled again when he saw the bird feeder hanging on the iron pole near the garage. The little white house hung there, swinging in silence as snow piled onto it’s tiny roof. It must be too dark for the birds to come out and eat, he thought.    “You know, your dad will be home in a little while," his mother said, “Why don’t you go ahead and get your bath.”    “I want to watch the snow fall.”    “It’ll be there when you get back. The weatherman says to expect a foot and a half. It won’t all fall at one time." she said with a smile.       Keagan grinned back at her, showing the little gap in the front where a tooth used to be, then walked down the hall to the bathroom.    “I’ll save you some cookies and milk when you get out.”    “Okay."       In the kitchen his mom brushed her fingers through her hair as she exhaled loudly, tackling the dishes after baking was not her favorite thing to do. She had been begging her husband to buy her a new dishwasher for the past six months. Putting her hands intothe water and grabbing the dishcloth, she could see outside through the little window over the sink. The snow was already covering the walk and grass in the back yard. It wouldn’t be long before the backyard, as she had known it all summer long, was just a memory. She shivered as she thought of how cold it would be to have to shovel the walk and driveway after it had stopped snowing.       Her thoughts turned back to what she was doing as she heard someone come in the kitchen door.    “Hi hon," a tender voice said; kissing her gently on the cheek. “It’s going to be a good one. Did you watch the weather?”    “Yeah, they said eighteen inches." She answered as she aggressively scrubbed one of the other cookie sheets.    “You made my favorite." He said, heading for the plate of cookies. “ I knew I married you for good reasons.”    She laughed as she quickly rinsed the sheet and put it into the drainer.    “Where’s Keagan?”    “In the tub. He would have sat at that window all night if I would have let him.”    “Well, it’s not everyday that you see a snow this big." He said, helping himself to a couple of the warm cookies cooling on the rack.    “No," she agreed, “Just every winter.”    “Don’t tell me you still want to move to Florida. I mean, how could you celebrate Christmas there? You’d be sweating when you opened your presents.”    “They do have air conditioning, Jason." She laughed, reaching for the dish towel to dry her hands.    “Well, if you’re going to have to cool off from the heat anyway, then just do it naturally."    “Very funny." She giggled. “Didn’t you ever have a place that you wished you could move to?”    “Yeah”, he said, smiling big. “Alaska. Where dreams of snow come true .”    “You’re such a goober!" She laughed; popping him with the dish towel.    “You’ve got to admit, it’s very romantic. We can sit in front of the fireplace and kiss the whole time it snows outside." He said, pulling his wife close to him.    “You do remember that sitting in front of the fireplace and being romantic was how we ended up with Keagan. Don’t you?”    “Oh...that’s how that happened. Well, it looks like we’re bound for Florida then."    “What a goober." She giggled as she let him kiss her gently on the lips.       They stopped as they heard a loud banging sound coming from the bathroom door and watched as their six year old son came bolting down the hall, still wet from his bath.      “Dad! You’re home!"      “Hey buddy! Where’s your clothes?”    “I’m putting them on." He answered, struggling to get underwear on his wet body.    “Keagan, you didn’t even dry off! Get back in there and get dressed before you catch pneumonia.”    “I can get dressed in here really fast mom. Watch!”      “I don’t want to watch."   She said, rolling her eyes. “Now get in the bathroom.”      “Do what your mom told you." Jason added.       Keagan grabbed his clothes and then stomped back down the hall into the bathroom. His father struggled not to laugh as he noticed the stressed look creeping back onto his wife’s face.    “At least he didn’t slam the door."   He whispered to her just as the loud echo of the bathroom door could be heard all over the house. She groaned quietly as she went back to scrubbing the dishes. Jason walked down the hall to speak with his son.    “What have I told you about slamming the doors in this house?”    “Sorry dad. It’s just that I could get dressed really fast. I know I could. See," he squealed as he pulled down his pajama top, “I’m already done!”      “This isn’t about getting dressed. Don’t slam the doors at all. Understand?”    “Yes sir." He answered with his head down.    “Well, come on then," Jason said, patting Keagan on the back, “Let’s get a cookie snack.”    “All right." He giggled as his dad picked him up and flew him to one of the kitchen chairs.    “You can have two cookies and that’s it." His mother said sternly.    “Oh come on Ruth," Jason begged, “Two is hardly enough for even a taste of your wonderful cooking.”    “Flattery will get you no where," she scoffed, “Besides, if you eat them all up, there won’t be anything left for Santa tonight.”      “Oh yeah!" Jason proclaimed, “We have to make sure that there are plenty of cookies left for Santa.”    “Yeah!" Keagan agreed. “Or else he won’t leave us any presents.”       His mother smiled as she handed them both two with a cold glass of milk. The smile disappeared quickly when she saw them gobbling the cookies so fast that it looked as if they would choke.      “What are you all doing?”      The two chewed as fast as they could and then gulped down their milk. Keagan actually finished his before his father.    “Cause," he started, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his pajama top, “It’s the great cookie race and I won.”    “You sure did!” Jason said, wiping his chocolaty mouth with a paper towel. “You beat me this time but I’ll get you the next.”       Ruth just shook her head and went to retrieve the last sheet of cookies from the oven.    “You guys are just weird.”    “Not weird, hon, we’re mighty men!" Her husband announced as he grabbed his son and flew him into the den to watch television.    “Mighty men...weird...what’s the difference?” Ruth mumbled to herself as she cleaned up the crumbs that her husband and son had left her.    “What are you asking Santa Claus to bring you this year?”    “I want a big dump truck to fill up with sand in the sandbox." Keagan said excitedly to his father.    “Me too. Do you think he’ll get us one?”      “Yeah! I’ve been really good this year. Even Mom says so.”      “Well, then, I guess you probably will get it if you’ve been that good.”    “I have. And Dad, do you know what else I want?”    “What?” His dad asked with a grin. “I want a brother to play with.”       Ruth sighed as she finished wiping the counter top. Her husband heard her from the living room and came to check on her.    “What’s the matter?”      “Nothing.”    “Come on, hon, I know that sigh. What’s wrong?”    “Did you hear what he asked for?” “A baby brother. So...all kids ask for that. It doesn’t mean anything.”      “Yes it does.”    “You take things way to personally.”      “I do not, Jason!” Ruth exclaimed, crossing her arms and leaning against the counter.      “Oh really? Then why should it matter what a little boy wishes for?”    “Because," she huffed, “He’s going to get his wish. At least, there’s a fifty percent chance he will.”    “What?” Jason stammered, paling in the face, “What do you mean?”    “I’m pregnant. I found out last week. I was just waiting for a good time to tell you. I guess this is as good a time as any.”    Jason’s mouth gaped as he listened to his wife.    “Are you all right honey?” Ruth asked, “You’re not going to pass out or anything, are you?”      “I’m all right." He said, suddenly smiling broadly. He grabbed his wife and gently pulled her close to him, “I’m really all right. A brand new baby on Christmas Eve.”      “I’m not due until summer," she offered, “Should we even tell him?”    “Let’s give Keagan his present, shall we?”      Jason grabbed his wife’s hand.    “For my sake, I hope he changes his mind at Easter and wants a baby sister instead." Ruth said with a smile.    

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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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