Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Days

My parents had to walk up hill to and from school, and school was never canceled due to inclement weather. They knew getting coal for Christmas was a real possibility, and they knew they were walking up hill to school even if there was a blizzard the previous night. That generation was tough as nails. My parents never exaggerate so I'm quite sure this is absolutely true.

Our children have it easy. Mother Nature simply spits a few flakes their direction and the entire town comes to a complete standstill. School is canceled and the party in our house begins.

The party in our house looks a little like this...

Two young children scream for joy and immediately begin asking for ridiculous things.

"Can we eat cereal in our rooms? Can we have pop for breakfast? Can we build a snowman in our bedroom?"

The words "snow day" seemingly makes them think they need to push every boundary possible. The thrill of missing a day of school isn't enough. They are after the ultimate snow day experience.

If this is the first snow day of the season, the two parents are both making the case to stay home with the kids:

"Oh, we can't leave them alone. Honey, you go to work and I'll stay home with them."

"No, Sweetheart, I know how busy you are at work these days. You go to work and I'll watch our darling children."

If this is snow day number 2-3, the conversation between the adults is a little different:

"I would love to stay home with those kids, but I just can't."

"Really? I have a meeting I must attend."

"And I suppose YOUR meeting is way more important than mine."

"Well, I stayed them with them last time!"

The love between these two adults vanished as soon as the automated call woke them from a sound and peaceful sleep to notify them that school is canceled (again).

If this is snow day number 4 or more, the adults unite in their utter disgust of the lazy, unmotivated person who made the decision to cancel school:

"Are you kidding me?! Is the superintendent of schools from Belize?! Has he never seen snow before??!! There's only 1 millimeter of snow out there! They will be going to school until July to make up these missed days!! No wonder our kids look and act stupid - they're never in school!" (Yes, every sentence requires an explanation mark!)

The children remain euphoric. A snow day is a gift from Mother Nature or at least a gift from the burned out superintendent of schools. Whatever! It is an unexpected and certainly undeserved free pass.

They spend exactly 23 minutes bundling themselves up in snow pants, gloves, scarves, coats, and boots. This task is complicated only marginally by the fact that they are bouncing up and down and cheering while trying to squeeze themselves into thermal outerwear. They dig through piles of gardening supplies to find their buried sleds. They race to the 3 degree hill in their front yard. In a moment of true teamwork they assist one another in positioning the sled just so. With one mighty push, they realize what their bitter, hardly speaking parents already knew. There is less than a quarter inch of snow on the ground, and they aren't going anywhere on that sled. Grass is sticking up through the dusting of snow and openly mocking them.

They return to the house. They are wearing no less than 4 layers of clothes on this balmy snow day so they are sweaty and hot after their failed attempt to sled. Despite the beads of sweat glistening on their foreheads, they still summon the will to ask their mother for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

Love those snow days!

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