The rain made a sound on the roof.
Brandon looked out of the window. The sky looked gray and cold. He saw the swing set. It looked wet. It did not look pretty and white. Brandon was sad. The weatherman said it would snow.
“Mom,” he said. “Where is the snow?”
Mom got her phone. She opened an app. She showed it to Brandon. “Here is the snow,” she said. She pointed to a blue color. “It is in the city above us on the map.”
“But the weatherman said it would snow here,” Brandon said. Brandon was on the autism spectrum. He liked for things to happen the way he expected.
“Yes,” Mom said. “But sometimes the weatherman is wrong. Mr. Brad Panovich does his best.”
“He should not be wrong. The weather is his job.” Brandon said.
“I like snow, too,” Mom said. “Let’s think about what makes it fun. Maybe you can still do some of those things.”
“I wanted to make a snowman,” Brandon said. “And I really wanted to eat snow cream.”
“Those are fun things,” said Mom. “Now how can we still do those things?”
“We can’t,” Brandon said. “The weatherman has made this a bad day.”
“You’re right we can’t,” Mom said. “But we can do things that are almost the same. And it can still be a good day.”
Brandon looked outside again. “I have an idea!” He ran to the door. He put on his raincoat and boots.
“What are you doing?” Mom asked. “Just wait and see,” Brandon said.
Brandon went outside. He found a mud puddle. Then he found a stick. He put the stick in the puddle. Scoop, scoop, scoop. Brandon scooped the mud onto the driveway. It looked like a blob.
Brandon poked the blob with his stick. It was thick and gooey. It looked like finger paint. He pushed the mud blob around. He made one big circle. Then one medium circle. Then one small circle.
Brandon looked for some rocks. There were tiny rocks near the driveway. One, two rocks for eyes. One rock for a nose.
Brandon picked a piece of grass. One piece of grass for a mouth. He tried to make it smile. It would not go. It would only lay straight. “Well,” Brandon said, “he is not a jolly, happy snowman. But he is an okay mudman.”
Brandon went to the tree. He found two small sticks. One, two arms.
“Mom!” Brandon ran inside. “Come see my mudman!”
Mom went outside. She looked at the mudman. She laughed. “This is very good,” she said.
“It is good,” Brandon said. “But he is not jolly.”
“He forgot his coffee this morning.” Mom laughed again. Mom liked coffee. “I would not be jolly without coffee, either,” she said. “Especially in the rain.”
“This was a good idea,” said Brandon. “But what about the snow cream?”
“I know what to do,” Mom said.
Brandon and Mom went inside. Mom told Brandon to go play Minecraft. He could use the computer. Matt would watch him in their room. She did not want him to see what she was doing. Brandon waited and waited. He heard a loud sound. He heard clinking and stirring.
“Matt! Joey! Emma! Brandon!” Mom called. The kids all ran to the kitchen. “Brandon wanted snow cream. What does this look like?”
“Snow cream!” they all yelled.
“How did you make snow cream?” Matt asked. “There is no snow.”
“I know!” said Joey. “I see something. Look!” She rolled her wheelchair around the counter and pointed at a box.
“It is the shaved ice machine!” said Emma. “Dad used it at the greenhouse party.”
“Yes,” said Mom. “First I made snow with the shaved ice machine. Then I mixed milk, sugar, and vanilla. I put the milk, sugar, and vanilla on the ice.”
Brandon jumped up and down. “I want some!” he said.
“You can be first.” Mom gave him a bowl. “Is it almost the same?”
Brandon took a bite. “It is better. Sometimes our snow cream has dirt. There is no dirt in this snow cream.”
“So it is not a bad day?” Mom asked.
“It is a very good day,” Brandon said. Then he took another bite.