Sometimes, it snows in June.

There is a snowball tree in our back yard.


For 11 months of the year, it looks like your average deciduous shrub.  And in the winter, it’s pretty dang ugly: just a contortion of barren, dead-looking sticks.

But  in late spring, it explodes in a mass of beautiful, white petals.  For the two weeks that it blooms, you can barely see the greenery hidden underneath the display of flowers.

It’s pretty stunning.  I look forward to those two weeks out of the year where we have a little visual break from the dreary Northwest springs.

Alas, the same snowball tree caught my son’s eye when we were outside playing in the yard last weekend.

I was working in the garden while the kids were doodling with sidewalk chalk on the back porch.  They were busy and content.   Or, so I thought.

Because in the brief time I had my back turned, Chip had grown bored with the sidewalk chalk.  So he wandered a few steps away, where my beautiful snowball tree taunted and beckoned to him.

It was the giggling that made me turn around.  But it was the destruction that made me come running.

“Noooo!”  I shrieked, as I bolted towards him.

But apparently, I run really slowly.  Either that, or my son picks at lightning speed (seriously, I should put the kid to work picking weeds).  By the time I had made it across the yard, countless handfuls of the blooms had been viciously plucked from the bush.  They lay strewn across the lawn like little dismembered snowmen.

I was mad.  As in, really, really fuming.  And I was also out of breath from sprinting across the yard.

As I stood there, my son looked up at me.  He deliberately yanked one more bloom from the bush, and held it up to me.

“It’s snowing, momma!” he said, shaking the flower maniacally.

I don’t know why.  But immediately, my anger dissipated.  Maybe it was seeing how much hilarity he saw in such a simple thing.  Or maybe it was seeing the little white petals stick in his dark hair like snowflakes.  Or his little giggles of delight.

I changed my tactic.  I explained that we do not pull flowers off plants.  But that, sometimes, if momma or daddy were with us, it was okay to make it snow.

So we shook that plant like there was no tomorrow.  We wiggled the branches, and batted at the leaves wildly.   It resembled one of those famous pillow fight scenes.  Except, instead of feathers, we were caught in a blizzard of petals and leaves.

Screams of glee.

Clouds of pollen (which I’m pretty sure confirmed that my kids are not allergic to pollen).

Flurries of white snow.

By the time we were done, our lawn was pretty much covered in white.  And my beautiful snowball tree had been decimated.  At least from 3 feet down.

I guess I’ll have to wait until next June to see the snowball tree flower again.  But I learned something this year when it bloomed.

There are some things in life that are pretty to look at.

But there are some things in life that are beautiful when they’re properly played with.

Sometimes, you just need a two year-old to bring that to light.  And to make it snow in June.

Pssst. I’ll let you in on a secret.

I have a secret to divulge.

It’s one that I’ve had to keep for several months now.  And, now I finally get to share it with you: my intimate group of readers.  Well, you and the entire internet.

I’ve been published.

In a book.

A book that doesn’t have pictures in it.

Okay, considering who the author is, it may have pictures in it.  But it is definitely not a picture board book.  At least, I don’t think it is.

If you want the full truth, my friend Big Daddy Autism was actually the one that got published.  But I was tremendously honored to be asked to write a short piece for a bonus chapter he included at the end.

And, while I can’t recall exactly what I wrote for said bonus chapter, because I wrote it months ago, I’m sure it was something good.  At least, I hope it was.  It may have been about poop.  Or bacon.  Or games.  And there was probably a little ditty about parenting in there.

I guess you’ll have to buy the book to find out.

That’s my plan, at least.  Because I know that even if what I wrote sucked, the rest of it will be a good read.  Big Daddy Autism often writes about topics that make me pee my pants in laughter.  Or that are touching and poignant.  Or, sometimes, about things that are just gross and TMI.  (But in a charmingly funny way.)

Either way, I encourage you to check out his book.

And, yes.  This is one secret you’re welcome to share.