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Surrender To The Snow Day

by Meagan Francis on January 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 12.16.45 PM

This was my reaction to learning, Sunday evening, that the school district had called off school for Monday due to dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills.

Indeed, it felt that way. My children have only had one full week of school since early December. I think, anyway. To be honest, it’s all starting to run together into a big, cold, unproductive blur. 

But one thing I do know: we had three snow days, all in a row, after winter break. Then a short week for my big boys due to exams. Then a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Then school was called off on Friday. And then again Monday.

And then, as Jenna and I were turning off our cell phones in the theatre yesterday (we’d taken the kids to see Frozen, appropriately enough) the message came through: Tuesday? No school for you!

I’ve admitted to being an unabashed snow-day lover. But there are limits to everything. I’ve been looking forward to gearing up work and getting my house under control, but instead of building momentum, I feel like I’ve just been sputtering along since Christmas. 

So finding out about yet another day with all my kids home all day initially inspired a feeling of panic and more than a little mom-grumping.

It’s not just about my kids being around; I like my kids, after all. It’s about everyone being stuck inside due to the bitter cold, and having to move all my appointments – and then move them again. It’s about routines falling apart and bedtimes getting lax and the fact that I haven’t gotten a decent workout since before Christmas. 

So Sunday evening I allowed myself one of those whiny Facebook moments I usually try to avoid.

But when the message came through on Tuesday, I tried to shift my perspective. As the previews rolled, I whispered “Snow day tomorrow, pass it on!” to William and watched as the news made its way down a line of ecstatic little boys.

After the movie, I dropped the boys off at a friend’s house for a sleepover and Jenna, my nieces, Clara and I headed to our house for movies and a sleepover.

I mentally wrote off getting much done Tuesday, and just…surrendered to the snow day.

It’s normal to be frustrated when schedules keep getting interrupted. But the beauty of having bad weather hit so much of the country at once is the sense that we’re all in it together. Everyone’s working from home around the chaos of kids and dogs. Nobody minds when a meeting gets rescheduled. My calendar suddenly feels so arbitrary – will it really matter if I don’t get that post up on time?

One day, sooner than we think, life will get back to the comforting monotony of normal. And one day, we’ll look back on 2014 and say “Remember that year that we had all those snow days?” 

Most likely the kids will have school tomorrow. But there’s always a possibility they won’t. For today, we’ll make some cookies, maybe play some board games. And see what the weather does.

I guess I just made up my mind to surrender to the snow day. I can’t do anything about it, after all. So I’m planning to enjoy the cozy, lazy, holed up feeling only a snow day can inspire. And remember that, soon enough, I’ll wish we had more breaks and lazy sleeping-in mornings. 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Reem January 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Here in Georgia it’s a rare snow day tomorrow and we all are so excited- snow in Atlanta is a beautiful thing- life here stops (sadly traffic does too!). Hoping you enjoy your plethora of snow days- sounds fun but I guess being holed up does take its toll. Atlantans see snow days as rare gifts so happy you are seeing it that way too:)


Olivia January 29, 2014 at 8:59 am

It’s Wednesday now and school has been canceled for a fourth day in a row. I don’t mind the snow days themselves, but I do mind that the make up days will end up encroaching on summer vacation. And my preschooler, for whom we pay school fees, has missed a full two weeks of school. I’m seriously considering asking for a discount on next month’s fee.


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