This morning I watched the school closures scroll across the top of the television screen. I remembered the thrill of Snow Days. One of my greatest joys was telling my kids,”No school today”, as they dug deeper into their warm beds. I have no children to report to now but, as I watched the scroll, I thought about all the younger children overflowing with glee sparked by closures and delays. I thought about the excited adults knowing they didn’t have to share the icy roads with blurry-eyed teenagers sporting freshly printed driver’s licenses.
Snow days are a rare thing in my little town. Our city workers have prepared for snow and ice for months. Like magical elves they get out early and clean the roads for the common folk. Our roads are cleared and, in most cases, we wake up to business as usual. Okay, maybe as usual at a wee slower pace. Anyway, it’s a rare day when the elements win the weather battle.
When my children were home, the hint of a snow day changed the atmosphere in my house. The anticipation for my children began at night when the local weather forecasters looked into their crystal balls and instructed us to make sure and check in the morning for messages handed down by the school administrators. When my children were young, hearts would beat a little faster as they imagined a day of sledding and building snowmen. And as teenagers, they imagined a day of sleeping until noon. Most often they ended up in a classroom the next day, but on those special nights, they hung on to the dream of a day without bells to determine their schedules. Occasionally, a cynical one would say something like “Never gonna happen”. But deep in that heart I know there was hope.
My joy, as noted above, came the next day. I made sure I set my alarm to go off before any of my children’s wake up times. I turned on the TV and looked on the computer hoping upon hope for that message of ‘school cancelled’ to appear. I watched the scroll over and over, praying my town would be added to the list. I wanted to be the first to deliver the message to my children. My challenge was to beat the citywide texting craze that started when one child realized school was closed for the day. Passing the news on before fast-fingered children of teachers was tricky. As a parent we get to warn and nag and anger our children on many occasions. It’s nice, once in a while, to make them happy. I worked hard to make sure I would be the one to bring little smiles to cherub faces on those snow-enhanced mornings. Rarely were words spoken between us after the awaited message arrived via mom, but their smiles said it all.
None of my joy came from the fact that I wouldn’t have to layer up in warm clothes, find my snow boots and dig through the winter box for a hat and a pair of matching gloves. I wouldn’t have to trudge out, scrape and start a car or two. I wouldn’t have to fight the drop-off line war zones at various school. At one point I was dropping kids at three different schools.
No, as my children nodded back off and I tightened my cozy robe and reached for a book and another cup of coffee, it never entered my mind that I got a snow day, too.