I am awakened at 6 AM, Dominic's new waking hour, by a kiss on the cheek from an overly cheery little boy. "Good morning, Mommy. Can you get up?" Ugh...I guess. I have a little guilt as I admit this to you, but I do not leave the warmth of my bed out of a loving desire to spend time with my chipper toddler; rather, I get up and brave the chilly air to protect his sister, our possessions, and this apartment that we have a security deposit invested in. I follow Dominic to the living room and begin to make myself a cappuccino, feeling very satisfied with myself that I do not allow the milk steaming in a little pitcher to overflow this time. Meanwhile, I pop a croissant into the oven to toast for a few minutes. We settle into a chair and begin reading books together and singing Christmas carols. It's really quite lovely. That is, until the power goes out.
I sigh with exasperation and inwardly curse at myself for forgetting where we are. We are in Italy. Remember? In Italy you can't run 3 electrical appliances at once, even if they are just two little electric burners and a miniature oven. Remember? No, I did not remember. In the haze of the early morning, I forgot all the little quirks and blew the fuse. All right, Dominic, let's go press the button. I don another sweater and carry him, so I don't have to put socks and shoes on him (I have slippers on). We ride the elevator down to floor zero. We walk through the little hallway and stop. Frozen. With shock.
It's snowing!! I thought Padova never got any snow, and it is miraculously snowing. There are already at least 2 inches collected on the ground and large flurries just keep coming down. Dominic, without any prompting started singing in an adorable monotone, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." It was beautiful. I felt like God looked down on my homesickness and sent me some snow to make it look a lot like Christmas.
We ended up getting about five inches of snow. Later that day, we took the kids out in the snow and had a great time together. Dominic simply could not get enough of the snow and didn't want to come in even when his hands were purple, and he'd gotten a snowball in the face (thanks, Daddy). Cate just looked like a purple marshmallow that got stuck in snow.
I had to laugh at the Italians who clearly never have snow. At six o'clock that night nothing had been plowed, or shoveled, for that matter. I saw someone across the street scooping snow off her balcony with a dustpan. Cars were trying to drive and brake with their characteristic speed and were just peeling out on every corner. People were still trying to bike through the snow, usually giving up and ending up trudging through the un-shoveled sidewalk while walking their bike. The next day, most roads were still not plowed. I did see a tractor--a real farm tractor--on one road, though, sprinkling what I assume was salt, from a seeder. My favorite thing, however, was all the Italians I saw walking around holding their large, pointy umbrellas to prevent the snowflakes from fluttering down on them.