He remembered the first time he had a snowball fight. He was six and his mother had said that he was too young to join in, but he had begged and she had relented. His brothers and sister were warned to be gentle with him, they weren’t, they just had terrible aim. They had played for what felt like hours in their back garden, pelting the ground near each other with tiny balls of badly packed snow.
Over the years, they perfected their skills. Their aim became honed, their tactics and evasion techniques were practised throughout the year with tennis balls and dodgeball. All so that when the first snow fell, they were able to run outside and begin the tournament. Black eyes, bruises and scrapes from falling over were common place in those few days when the snow was thick enough. Their sister started bowing out when she became 12-13, when she became too cool for it. By the time she was leaving for University though, she had resumed playing and became the reigning champion.
He smirked, remembering the games and the injuries. Their mother’s cries to be careful and their dad’s encouragements. His eldest brother tapped on the back and held a beer out to him. He took it with a grin and turned back to the back garden as his sister joined them. Their other brother was holding his new born so it was from the safety of the patio windows that he watched the next generation begin all over again.