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By Kimara - Posted on 22 January 2008

            It’s funny, but after your children have grown and left home…I use the term “left home” loosely here…it’s amazing the things you find you miss. Like, say, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sure, I could make myself a pb&j anytime, but I don’t…it just wouldn’t taste the same. Or cartoons. When I was a kid we watched Popeye the Sailorman, Alvin and the Chipmunks, (if you’re old enough, do you remember Clyde Crashcup?) and Rocky and Bullwinkle. My children and I watched Scooby Doo, Ducktails, The Smurfs and Rescue Rangers. Long before they could tell time, we used the Scooby Doo time standard…


Child: Are we almost to Nanas?

Me: Yep…just two more Scooby Doos.


They didn’t understand “an hour”, but they could understand the duration of 2 Scooby Doos! Through sheer commercialization of Sponge Bob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer I’m aware of their existence, but I’m clueless as to the shows’ content and totally unaware of other pop culture cartoons. (Hmmm…maybe from now on, instead of

a lovely leisurely breakfast at our favorite diner on Saturday mornings, Tim and I should curl up on the couch, with bowls of Coco Puffs and Trix and watch cartoons…or not!) Also, while looking out my window this morning, at the snow covered panorama, I find I sorely miss Snow Days! 


            The words “Snow Day” can catapult a child into sheer euphoria. Sadly, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had to concern myself with snow days, either in the role of parent or teacher, or transcending a child. I’m not talking about “snowy days”, but rather those magical days all school aged children dream of when it’s announced that school is closed due to snow. (BTW…this may come as a surprise to students who think their teachers live by a modified postman’s motto of “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can keep a teacher from her classroom” to learn that their teachers are equally excited…if not more so…to be given a snow day!) Now, if you’re from the south, you may never have heard those words as you were growing up…but I’m sure there are other weather conditions, like ice and fog, that close schools and give children, what can only be described as “A gift from God!”


            Throughout the winter months, school aged children are ever vigilant of the weather. The first few snowflakes begin an optimistic anticipation for “serious accumulation”. All children become apprentice meteorologists. They stick their tongues out and assess the relative weight of the flakes, they turn their faces to the wind and try to discern velocity, and they note the time of day the snow begins. The most promising weather conditions are heavy flakes and a stiff westerly wind commencing in the late afternoon/early evening. (Snow too early in the day gives the road crews too much time to clear the roads, thus jeopardizing the need for school closings!)


            I can remember as children, my brothers and I would assess the snowfall as night approached. Before going to bed we’d watch the weather for accumulation predictions. And throughout the night we’d listen for the unwelcomed scraping sound of snow plows. But when the gods were smiling, and the planets were aligned, upon awakening we’d discover your town was blanketed by a downy comforter of snow! Oh the joy, oh the rapture, oh the awesome power of Nature humbled us! Most parents assume children will sleep in on snow days…but to a child that would be like sleeping in on Christmas morning. The day looms before you with boundless possibilities and as a child you have no intention of wasting a single minute of it!


            I found as a mother, I looked forward to Snow Days with almost as much enthusiasm as when I was a child. I loved the change of pace, the unexpected time to spend with my children, and the carnival like atmosphere that filled the air. Time was as frozen as the outdoor landscape! On Snow Days Nature gives you permission to play hooky, to indulge in frivolous pursuits, and to a guilt free “slow down”. It’s bloody Brigadoon! As a child it didn’t really matter what you did that day, the point was you were not in school, and no one had any expectations of you. Snow Days equaled total freedom! 


            Today it’s snowing…hard. They are predicting “serious accumulation”. The pine trees that surround my yard are already laden with enough snow to make their branches dip. The birds are lining up at the multiple feeders in nearby trees, which may require refilling before the day is done. And my three dogs’ paw prints are erased minutes after they return indoors. I’m tempted to step outside to tongue weigh a flake! It is a beautiful day, but despite the Norman Rockwell scene, there is something missing…and that is anticipation…anticipation of a Snow Day! If the snow continues like this throughout the day, schools may well be closed tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’ll miss out on the excitement that results from being given a Snow Day. Guess I’ll sit back with a cup of coffee and just enjoy a glorious Snowy Day!


Hmmm…I wonder if my grandson’s preschool will be closed tomorrow…


Okay, so you’re given this “gift” of a free day, but what are some great Snow Day activities? Read next week's blog!

Indeed, the snow must not stop us to do things that the family can enjoy. - Flemings Ultimate Garage

I can only begin to image how beautiful it must be! I lived in New England when I was first married and it was breathtaking in winter. When my children were 6, 4 and 1 we lived in Kentucky. We were there just a short time, but the one complete winter we lived there, Kentucky public schools were closed an unprecidented 28 days! (Michelle was in private schools and they were never closed!) Because snow was not typical, they did not have the equipment to get their hilly, twisty roads safe enough for buses. Anyway, the kids were going to schools on Saturdays to try to make up the lost days. Finally, the Governor did an emergency required school day reduction because parents were complaining that they needed their children home, working on the farms, and if the law wasn't changed, Kentucky would have had a ton of children repeating a grade the following year. Okay, point here being (I always have a point ) a few snow days a year are magical...with 28 days they began to lose their "specialness" and I knew good "church going ladies" that considered taking to the bottle! Anyway, thanks for sharing...and have fun in your winter wonderland :)

Well, we've already maxed out our built-in to the calendar 4 snow days this year! So, we've had plenty of snow day opportunities. I have to say that I enjoy them even more as a mom than I did as a child! So far, we haven't done anything extremely exciting except stay in our pajamas longer than I normally allow them to do. We had two snow days last week...hmm...we baked chocolate chip cookies. Yum! We did art - Jack likes to make maps of "continents". And we watched Scooby Doo! We are supposed to get snow tomorrow, but I don't think serious accumulations are in the forecast.