I have to admit…I’m not a huge fan of winter, but I do believe that snow is a miraculous and amazing sight. A snow day is a gift! My, how snow days have changed! As an educator and a mother, the scope of a snow day has certainly evolved over the years. When I first started teaching and before I had my own children, I would stay up late hoping school would be canceled. Back then, the only way we knew about a snow day was by being awakened at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to a phone call from another staff member. We were all part of a phone chain in which each of us had to call the next person on the list to let them know that school was canceled. At this point, I would be fully awake and excited for a day off. I would make some coffee, snuggle up on the couch, grab my next crochet project, and watch the snow fall.
Then, as I had children, snow days turned into days of excitement and experience. I remember bundling the kiddos up, going outside to play in the snow, trying to build snowmen, and sledding down hills. My husband would always pull the girls around the backyard on a sled attached to his four-wheeler (slowly and carefully, of course). I treasure the memory of their giggles and the dog barking in the background.
On snow days with my kids, I would make so many plans for us. I would make chili and bake cookies. Hot chocolate was, of course, a must! We would watch movies and cuddle up on the couch together. I would also try to sneak some time for myself by finally finishing up a scarf I was crocheting or by reading the last chapter of the book that had been sitting on my nightstand. I often had some grandiose plans for those precious 24 hours. Some days I pulled it all off and some days I didn’t. Whatever the outcome though, it sure was exciting to think about all the fun things we could do on those unexpected days off in the middle of the year.
Fast forward to today. Snow day updates are sent out as a phone blast the night before as predictions of weather are much more accurate. Sometimes they will even cancel multiple days in advance if a particularly nasty storm is predicted. Many schools have pivoted and now utilize virtual learning when inclement weather arises. I don’t think that went over very well with many parents and students. However, many other school districts are still granting traditional snow days and allowing kids to experience the joys of playing in the snow. Let’s face it, snow is a miracle and it’s amazing.
Now that my children are grown and out of the house, snow days are different but still exciting. I still plan something special to cook or bake. I watch movies and play games with my husband. Just as I always have, I try to pile as much as I can into that 24-hour period of being “locked in” on a snow day. It’s like we’re given an unexpected gift to stay put and just be!
What I have learned: Snow days are a gift. Appreciate and enjoy the moment.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.