She is 8 the first time they do it.
Her mom had picked her up early from school and, after several reassurances that everything was fine, they got in the car and drove away.
They are now sitting on a bench in the park, the green of the grass slowing disappearing under a white blanket as the snow falls around them. She doesn't say anything. She is curious, she wants to know why her mother brought her here, but she doesn't ask. Not yet. They just sit there, basking in this winter wonderland.
"Happy first snow day, Gracie" Her mother says, her voice soft like when she tells her a bedtime story.
"Happy first snow day, mommy." she says back, and watches how her mom's face lights up at her words, just like with daddy's words.
Her mom hugs her and then she tells her a story about her grandma. She loves hearing stories about her. Grandpa Jim always tells her one when she visits him, but her mom has the best ones. So she listens. Learns about their tradition, about their shared snow days and the things they used to do together. Her mom also tells her about how she started sharing this with Alexis too, how she wanted to come today but couldn't because she had to stay home with little Jamie.
As her mom finishes her story, Grace reaches for the chain around her neck, pulling the ring from underneath the layers of winter clothes. She had found it one day on her mom's bedside table, and after she told her the story behind it, Grace had asked her if she could keep it and her mom had said yes.
She looks at the ring in her hand, can feel her mom's eyes on her. She kisses it and whispers.
"Happy first snow day, Grandma"