"Mama, Mama! Wake up, wake up!"
You were woken from your peaceful sleep by the feeling of tiny hands fiercely shaking your shoulders and the excited sounds of a familiar voice. You let out a low moan before you shielded your closed eyes with your hand and turned over onto your side, trying to fall back asleep. You were grateful when the hands removed themselves from your shoulders and you were no longer being shaken.
That is, until you felt something rather heavy start to jump on top of you. "Mama, wake up!"
"A-Ahhh!" you gasped as your eyes instantly flew open. You quickly rolled over so that your back was pressed against the mattress and got up into a sitting position so that you were no longer being jumped on. "I'm awake, I'm awake..." you grumbled before you rubbed your sleepy eyes with your hand and let out a somewhat loud yawn.
As soon as you removed your hand from your eyes and blinked a few times, getting them to adjust to the bright sunlight that streamed through the curtains in your room, you shifted your gaze over to the side and lowered it so that it was able to settle on Matthew, who was standing next to you eagerly, gripping your arm with both hands, his violet eyes sparkling in excitement.
"Good morning, Mattie," you said as you lifted a hand and gently patted the top of the little boy's blonde hair. "You look rather excited this morning."
"Mama, look outside!" Matthew said as he began tugging at your arm and pulling you forward, making you smile in amusement.
"Okay, okay," you obeyed before you reached out to grasp him in your arms and shifted in place so that your legs were hanging over the edge of the bed, allowing you to climb out. When you approached the window and opened the partially closed curtains with one hand, your eyes slightly widened in surprise when you saw everything—the road, the mailbox, the roofs of houses, the trees—totally covered with what seemed like a foot of snow.
"Look at all the snow, Mama!" Matthew said excitedly as he leaned forward and pressed his palms against the window as well as his face, his gaze drifting to almost every part of the neighborhood it was able to settle on.
"Yeah, that is a lot of snow..." you said a bit hesitantly. You couldn't have denied, even to yourself, that you had a love/hate relationship with the snow. What you loved about it was that when you had the day off, you were able to play in it with Matthew or simply admire it like you usually did. It also provided a good excuse for staying inside and having some hot chocolate or something original like that. But what you hated about it was that it gave you extra work, since whenever it was a weekday and you had to drive, you always had to shovel out the driveway so you could've gone to work, and it more often than not made your back sore for the rest of the day.
But even though today was a Saturday, it still would've been better for you to shovel your driveway today and take your time instead of saving it for Monday and being in a rush to shovel it and still get to work on time.
"Are we going to play in the snow today, Mama?" Matthew asked eagerly after he removed his face and hands from the cold window and shifted in your arms so that he was able to look up at you.
You looked down at him, and once you took in the irresistibly cute expression on his face, you found that you just couldn't have refused. "Of course, Mattie," you said, smiling before you leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "But first you need to have breakfast and I need to dress you up so you wouldn't get cold."
After you gave Matthew his breakfast—pancakes with maple syrup, which was his favorite—you got him dressed. Since it was rather cold outside, you dressed him in a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, and a thick winter coat before you proceeded to put him in snow pants and boots. Finally, you took a scarf and wrapped it warmly and comfortably around his neck before you took a little hat and fit it comfortably on his head so that its ends were also able to cover his ears.
Once you seemed to be done dressing Matthew, you looked down at him, scanning him to see if you'd forgotten something as he looked up at you expectantly.
I think he's missing something...you thought as you continued to examine him through slightly narrowed eyes. Finally, you snapped your fingers when the idea came to you. "Oh, I know! You're missing gloves."
Once you found a pair of gloves suitable for Matthew and put them on him, he flexed his fingers a few times before he looked up at you eagerly. "Am I ready, Mama?" he asked a bit quietly.
You examined him once more before you patted his head and smiled. "Yes, Mattie, now you're ready. Just wait a few minutes until I get dressed, then we can go outside."
Once you were ready, you walked over to the front door holding a shovel with Matthew close behind you, an excited look on his face. Once you unlocked the door and opened it, you instantly felt a blast of cold air hit your face, and you were slightly surprised at how chilly it was.
Matthew, however, seemed to pay no attention to this, and instead let out a giggle as he ran past you and dashed outside before he plopped down in a large pile of snow and started rolling over in it, and you couldn't have helped but chuckle in amusement.
"Mama!" Matthew said excitedly as he lifted himself and got into a sitting position, several large flakes of snow covering him. "Come play in the snow with me!"
The amusement that you felt briefly was instantly replaced by a bit of guilt and pity. "Sorry, Mattie," you said a bit sadly. "But I need to clear out the driveway before I can play with you."
The excited expression on Matthew's face instantly drooped and unhappiness filled his violet eyes. "Please, Mama?" he asked.
You sighed before you took a step forward and set the snow shovel down on the ground in front of you, holding it by the handle. "I'm sorry, Mattie, but I have another important thing I need to take care of first."
"Please?" Matthew pleaded as he dug his fingers into the snow.
You stared back at him. "I can't, Mattie."
"Please?" he asked again, a bit more pitifully this time.
The sadness that was inside you was starting to be replaced with a small bit of irritation. "No."
"Matthew!" you said sharply, causing him to abruptly stop and stare at you with wide, innocent eyes. You let out a huff before you began shoveling the snow in front of you. "I said before that I need to clear out the driveway before I play with you, and I need to make at least one path through the snow. In the meantime, why don't you make a snowman or something? I promise that as soon as I'm finished, I'll play with you right away. Okay, sweetie?"
Matthew gave a tiny nod before he began to absently trace lines in the snow with the tips of his fingers, a somewhat bored expression on his face.
You began to shovel a fairly thin path through the snow, throwing the pile of snow that you had gathered in the shovel's blade over in Matthew's direction. Although you weren't aware of it, a somewhat large pile of snow had formed next to him, and he used it to quietly build a snow fort to keep himself occupied while he waited for you to finish.
By the time you were able to shovel out a path from your front porch to the sidewalk, your back was starting to ache and your arms were exhausted. You turned around so that you were able to look across the front lawn over to where Matthew was, but instead of finding him, you found a structure.
"Mattie?" you asked with a slight hint of concern.
At the sound of your voice, Matthew poked his head out from behind the fort, which was nearly as tall as him. "Are you done, Mama?" he asked you sweetly.
You let out an exhausted sigh before you closed your eyes. "Not yet," you called out to him. "I still need to shovel the driveway, and then I'll be done."
A bit of a disappointed expression crossed Matthew's face, but instead of complaining, he replied, "Okay," and disappeared behind the fort.
You had proceeded to shovel the driveway with your back facing Matthew and his little fort. You honestly thought that it was adorable that he was able to build something like that in the relatively short amount of time that it took you to shovel out a path across your front yard. You were almost done shoveling the driveway when you felt something rather hard hit you right in your lower back.
"Ah!" you yelped as you quickly stood upright, rubbing the already sore spot with your hand and dropping the shovel in the process.
You heard a giggle come from behind you, and you whipped around so that you were staring directly at the snow fort through irritated eyes. "Matthew!" you said loudly. "I know you're there! Why did you throw a snowball at me?"
You continued to stand there with clenched fists, but you received no reply for the next few seconds. "Matthew!" you said, raising your voice to almost a yell. "I'm seriou—"
But you never got to finish before Matthew's head popped up from behind the fort, a smile prominent on his face, and he threw another snowball at you and disappeared again.
This time, the snowball hit you square in the forehead, causing a sudden chill to spread through your face and you to stumble slightly backwards, gasping in surprise. You were able to hear another fit of giggles come from the snow fort, and you continued to stand there, still a bit shocked, as you raised an arm and wiped the cold moisture from your forehead with your sleeve.
Your irritation was suddenly replaced by playfulness, and you let out a tiny, impish smile before you bent down and scooped up some snow in both hands, compressing it so that you were able to create a snowball. Carefully aiming at your target, you raised your arm and hurled the snowball right in the direction of the fort, smiling in satisfaction when you heard it hit something soft and a surprised squeak to come immediately after.
Instantly, Matthew popped his head out from behind the fort and looked at you with irritated eyes, and you couldn't have helped the laugh that escaped you by looking at the expression on his face. but apparently, he took the opportunity of having you stand there triumphantly to throw another snowball at you, making you let out a yelp as it hit you in the shoulder.
Before long, the two of you engaged in a snowball fight. But while Matthew had his fort, which he used as defense, you had nothing, and didn't have time to make one like his, either. The snowballs kept coming at you one after another, and at first you wondered how he was able to possibly make snowballs that quickly, but you eventually figured out that he must've made a whole pack of them while you were shoveling the driveway after he was done constructing his snow fort.
"Okay, okay!" you said loudly after you had been almost covered in snow through the snowballs that Matthew kept on constantly throwing at you, shielding yourself with your hands and arms though they provided minimal help. "You win, Mattie! Just...stop throwing snowballs at me!"
"Yay!" Matthew said happily before he briefly disappeared behind his fort and reappeared again, running up to you and pausing when he was a few feet away from you. He looked up at you, and when he saw you brushing snow off of your arms, legs, and hair, he let out another giggle.
At the sound of his voice, you averted your gaze so that you were looking down at him, and when he looked up at you with eager, happy eyes, you let out a smile before you bent down so that you were more or less eye-level with him.
"Hey Mattie, do you want to make a snow angel?" you asked him sweetly as you brushed stray bits of snow away from his hair.
"Yes, Mama!" Matthew said excitedly before he let himself fall backwards so that his back was pressed against the snow and he was looking up at the sky. He closed his eyes and let out a giggle before he began moving his arms and legs back and forth, and you watched in amusement as he began to make a snow angel. A few seconds later, he opened his eyes to look up at you and smiled. "Are you going to make one too, Mama?"
You let out a chuckle before you sat down and leaned back so that you were pressed against the snow. You rolled over onto your side so that you were watching Matthew. "I think I'll just lie here and watch you, Mattie," you said sweetly.
Matthew continued to make his snow angel for the next few moments until he carefully stood up and turned around so that he was able to look down at it, clapping his hands happily. "Mama, come look at my snow angel!" he said excitedly.
You propped yourself up on your elbows before you hauled yourself up into a standing position, turning around so that you were able to look down at the snow angel Matthew made. It was so small and cute, just like him, and you couldn't have helped but let out a tiny smile.
"It looks great, Mattie," you said before you grasped Matthew by his sides and lifted him up into your arms, shifting him so that you were looking directly into his violet eyes. "Oh, are you cold?" you asked when you noticed that he had a prominent blush on his cheeks and his nose was a bit red as well.
Matthew quickly shook his head. "No, I'm not."
"You look cold," you teased before you rubbed his cheek with the back of your hand, a bit surprised at how cold it felt. "Your cheeks are cold. Maybe it's time for us to head inside."
A pout quickly came to his face. "But I don't want to go inside!" he whined. "I still wanna play in the snow."
You chuckled before you kissed Matthew's cold forehead. "You're so stubborn, Mattie," you said playfully. "How about we go inside for a while and then we can come back out to play later?"
The pout on his face disappeared a little, though he still seemed a little upset. "Okay, Mama," he said quietly.
You smiled and patted his head before you began to head back towards the house, still holding him comfortably in your arms. "Would you like some hot chocolate, Mattie?"
"Yes, Mama," Matthew replied quietly before he buried his face in your shirt. A few moments passed before he softly murmured, "I love you."
You briefly stopped walking so that you were able to look down at him, your eyes slightly wide in surprise, before you smiled and pulled him away from you enough so that you were able to kiss his slightly damp forehead. "I love you too, Mattie," you said quietly before you led him back inside the house.