This story is about the nicest, kindest person I’ve ever met. In fact, I call this person my friend. I call him that because I didn’t know his name the first few times we met. He was usually helping other people and playing with the quiet kids, so I never heard anyone say his name until years later. I am a snowman, and my name is Josh.
I woke up for the first time naked! There I was, an unfinished snowman on the edge of the park, without any clothes or even a nose of my own; I felt embarrassed. No one else noticed, but my Friend noticed me. My Friend smoothed out my shape and then he pulled off a long red scarf he was wearing, and wrapped it around my neck. Then, seeing that my nose was missing, he turned and left for a while. As he returned with something in his hand, I realized that he was carrying a carrot. My face was frozen so hard that the boy had to work hard to get my carrot nose in place, but with patience and kindness, this Friend kept trying until my nose was perfect. It felt so good to be dressed and presentable! I was proud of my nice, orange carrot nose. I loved my red, long scarf. All I wanted now was a hat. I wouldn’t complain, though. To me, it was a blessing to be noticed by such a great kid.
I figured even without a hat, I looked much better, and I wasn’t embarrassed anymore, but my Friend wasn’t done being kind to me. In a moment, my Friend looked up at my head and realized what was missing. Friend said, “Wait here, Josh. I’ll be back after a while.” That’s how I got my name. Josh is a pretty awesome name, isn’t it? It’s my favorite name, and I’m so glad I get to have it!
I waited all night, and I enjoyed the quiet of the empty park until the next day. The next afternoon, my Friend came right up to me with another beautiful child, a girl that he called Mary. Together, they put the hat on my head and began smiling and laughing about how nice I looked. “Isn’t Josh a spectacular snowman?” my Friend said. It made me happy to think that they liked me. Then, they ran off, and when they returned, they each had mugs of hot chocolate. I didn’t want any of it, of course; I could melt if I drank it. But, they hung out with me as they finished drinking, talking about their plans for the week, sharing funny stories, and making me feel like I was part of their group.
Every day, they came back and spent time playing at the park, then they came close to me and talked about their day. It was so much fun that my straight mouth slowly became a curved smile. Okay, the truth was that Mary and my friend changed the shape of my smile, but I like to think that their cheerfulness caused the change.
A few weeks later, something began happening to me. The heat of the bright, yellow sun began to feel hotter than before. Winter was almost over. At first, I just became shiny and smooth. But then, slowly, my snowy body began to change shape. I don’t think I looked very nice, because the children looked sad and tried to console me. I was okay with it, though. A snowman does not like warm weather, so we allow ourselves to melt away and wait for the snow to return. Only then can we be reborn.
When the cold winter snow fell again, my friends reformed my body and dressed me up in a different red scarf, and they brought their hot chocolate and their smiles, too. Every year, I saw them get bigger and bigger, and every winter, I got to enjoy the fun of their conversations and their laughter as they played at the park after school every day. During holidays, they brought cousins and neighbors to meet me, and would speak very low and seriously as they said, “Josh, I have a new friend for you today.” Meeting new friends was the best fun of all!
When they grew up, I waited for a long while to be reborn, but no one came. Suddenly one day, my Friend came back with Mary again, and with some small children. I finally learned his name, too. It was “Daddy.” Mary’s name changed, though, and it was “Mommy” now. Every year, Daddy and Mary came back to build me up with more children, and together, they drank their hot chocolate and spent time with me again. The years passed, and after a while, I had to wait a long time again. This time when my friend came back, he had a new name, “Grandpa,” and Mary’s name had changed again, this time to “Grandma.” New children came with him, and once again, my winters were fun. The new children grew, and other children came, and Grandpa’s name became “Great Grandpa” sometimes. I never figured out why.
Today, I am wrapped up in my red scarf, with a pretty carrot nose, and my Friend is coming to dress me again, with a big smile and a nice, new hat for him and for me. There is nothing better than being with my Friend. I see that the children who call him Grandpa and Great Grandpa have been building other types of snowmen all around me this time. That’s probably because there are a lot of new kids this year. My friend and Mary are moving slowly as they dress me today, and they take a lot of breaks to rest. Somehow, I get a feeling that this will be the last time they come to the park.
As he pulls out his hot chocolate and pours some for Mary, my Friend, Grandpa, tells me he’ll be gone someday soon, so I won’t get to be reborn anymore when that happens. For a moment, I’m sad, but as I think about it, I decided that it will be okay. I am grateful for Grandpa and Grandma Mary, who helped me to have such a great time as year after year the snow returned. Besides, I know that new snowmen are growing up all around me to take his place. As I see Grandpa’s children building a snow dog, and I smile at a lopsided snow cat that two of the children have made, I hope that one of the children will name their new snowman after me next year when I’m gone. I don’t mind sharing. After all, I’d hate for my name to go to waste, because Josh is a pretty great name, isn’t it?
Story Written by Stephanie Orsini from stephanieorsini.com