Five Kids

Five Kids

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Power of the Snow Day

I grew up in sunny California. In all my years of school, we had exactly ONE weather related cancellation. And it wasn't for snow. (The only time it snowed, it lasted about ten minutes and we all piled out of our classrooms to watch the flakes until they turned back into rain.) No, the weather related cancellation was for too much rain. The parking lot and some of the classrooms of our outdoor school flooded, so the teachers met us outside in the poring rain as we arrived at school and sent us straight home. I'd had a big history test that day and was elated by the unexpected extra day I had to study. And take a nap. And read a book while eating my mother's homemade cookies.

It never happened again, but my one day of weather-related freedom will forever live in the annals of most awesome days ever.

My kids, unlike me, are growing up in an area of the country that gets lots of snow. And lots of cold winter days, rife with school cancellations and delays. To them, snow days are a regular thing. Part of the wonder of winter. Something to be counted on. And though we've lived here for twelve years, I still can't get it through my brain that every snow day is not the last one ever. For this reason, snow days totally throw me off my game.

The thoughts that run through my head every time we get that early morning auto-call that informs us of a delay or cancellation go something like this:

"It's a snow day! We can sleep in!"

"It's a snow day! Let's skip the morning workout and make cookies instead!"

"It's a snow day! Let's do nothing but watch movies and play video games (for the kids) or read (for me) all day long. Because relaxing is what you're supposed to do on a snow day and we will never have another opportunity to spend the entire day in our pajamas again."

I tell myself these lies every single time. And every time, I fall for them. When snow days happen several times per week, over the course of several weeks, it becomes a big problem. (Who knew?) So the past month has totally thrown me off my game. My body craves it's routine of an early morning workout and healthy food, while my head insists on skipping the workout and eating warm cookies all day instead. Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance! I can't miss out!

Of course my kids crave routine as well, even though they think they'd rather play video games all day. But there's another thing they crave almost as much--playing in the snow! (Gasp). Being a California girl, I hate being cold. Plus I'm a bit of a homebody anyway. So when it snows, I don't consider going outside to be a viable option. But my kids seem to think it's fun to get all dressed up until you can't move your limbs and then head outside and stay there until they're frozen solid. I really don't get it. They think hot cocoa afterward somehow makes the hours of freezing outside okay.

So my plea to the universe today... please make the snow days stop.

Okay, that's a little selfish because my kids love them. I'll try again:

Please help me remember that when the next snow day comes, it will not be the last one. I can still exercise, refuse to make cookies even when my kids strongly suggest it, and turn off the screens to play board games instead. And I will let my kids play outside when they ask, even though I know the mess they'll bring in when they're done will take several days to clean up completely.

Maybe I will even go outside. For, like, ten minutes or something. The rest of the time, I'm happy to watch from inside.

But please don't ask me to wake up early. Sleeping in on a snow day is mandatory.


  1. this is hilarious! Yes, one snow day in a lifetime is different than many each winter. I honestly don't know how I would deal with it (I'd probably make cookies each time!) Sounds like you have a good compromise in mind--good luck!

  2. Now I want mom's cookies. My self-control this pregnancy is awful, so now I'll probably make some and eat the whole batch. Thanks a lot, sis. ;)

  3. Ha ha! Sorry, Cindy. If it makes you feel any better, I've caved twice since I wrote this post. We had to use up the rest of the giant Costco bag of chocolate chips I bought for December fudge-making. Obviously. The snow days just need to stop, that's all there is to it.