We woke up last week to a few inches of fluffy snow. We knew this because Jake was awake at 4.30, staring out of our window and giving us regular updates.
By the time we’d done the usual pre-school rushing, there wasn’t time to play outside so he had to make do with a wintery walk to school and the promise of a snowman after school.
Rule #43 of the Autism Handbook, as you probably know, states never, ever make promises on which you can’t deliver. Really, it’s my own stoopid fault.
Throughout the day, we watched, crestfallen, as the snow melted away to leave only the tiniest traces on the tops of walls and in the corners of the garden.
Soooo, jump to school pick-up time and Jake is ready for much fun playing in the alpine scene that should be our garden.
When he sees there’s more chance of snow in Biarritz that day, he’s not a happy man.
In fact, he stands in the window, screaming his head off and shouting that the ice can go away. No amount of reasoning will work about how there may be more snow tomorrow – Jake has little concept of the passage of time and ‘tomorrow’ may as well be years away.
Before a full-on meltdown occurs, I bundle him into the car and we speed off in search of some last remnant of snow in West Yorkshire. Like some crazed tornado-chasers, we go from moor to field, looking for any small patch of snow that has missed the thaw.
A few miles later, we find enough on Shipley Glen. Apart from one final hardy dog-walker, we’re the last people left, braving the sub-zero windchill temperatures and fading light.
We go for a quick jog. There’s enough snow left to make a mini snowman baby and a few snowballs to chuck at a farm wall. Jake jumps up and down, kicks some snow around into clouds and shouts about Paw Patrol.
As my nose freezes, splinters and falls off my face, and we head back to the car, Jake holds my hand in his new HUGE gloves, and has the biggest smile on his face. The hypothermia is worth it.