My mom would hand my sister and I each a metal bowl and spoon. She would tell us to pack the snow down hard into the bowl.
We would bundle up and head into the yard with our tools. We would be careful to walk in a straight line to disturb as small an area of fresh, white snow as possible.
We would scoop the snow, careful not to dig too deeply. Grabbing dirt or grass would render our scoop worthless.
We would scamper from one spot to the next, avoiding any spots with tints of brown, yellow, speckles or other evidence of contamination.
We would fill our bowls, scooping and packing, scooping and packing until snow overflowed the brims.
We would carry our bowls into the kitchen, and then transfer the snow into our cups. A scoop of snow, a pour of Coke, a scoop of snow, a pour of Coke until we had the perfect combination of snow to soda. The perfection of a winter slushy.
This week, we finally had a snow day. I told my boys about winter slushies with the fondness and nostalgia of an adult longing for the simple pleasures of childhood. They seemed willing to try. What they weren't willing to do was collect the snow.
So I collected the snow careful to avoid even the most minuscule speck of off-white knowing Jack would refuse to try the slushy if he thought the snow was dirty.
I transferred the snow into cups and poured in the soda. I added straws. I took the slushies to my boys. I waited for the reaction.
I got a "gross" from both of them. I was amazed. Maybe the delicious taste is rooted in the preparation, and they did not participate in that step.
So, I guess my hope of carrying on the winter slushy tradition has been dashed. I guess I will have to stick with the winter tradition of Jack putting snow down Luke's neck as soon as we walk out the door.