In some houses, the Snow Day is a time of dread and despair. It strikes fear in many a good and loving parent’s heart. With the early morning text, comes an end to the best laid plans of the day. A sitter must be found, the office must be called, arrangements must be made in regards to child care. You need to figure out how to keep your kids entertained while getting your work done. It’s a lot to ask of a person on short notice.
In my home, the Snow Day is a day of celebration. Like all other parents out there, I love my children. More importantly, I like them. One day, they are going to be grown and out of my house (and so shall commence the Dark Ages when I eagerly look forward to the occasional text and even rarer visit). Today, I embrace the time I get to spend with them, like the occasional Snow Day. That’s right, I am THAT annoying mother. I do a Snow Dance with the kids at night and frantically check my weather app for updates. I’m the mom in the morning who is jumping up and down with her kids when the announcement is made.
Of course, my schedule needs to be rearranged. When a snow day is proclaimed and the celebrations are over, it’s time to prioritize my – perhaps I should say our? – day. Just because my loves are staying home, doesn’t mean I no longer have responsibilities. Snow Day means it’s time to figure out what’s important.
Fortunately, my kids are old enough for me to delegate some of the household work, so we don’t end up being featured in an episode of Hoarders. And things get done faster when you have help. My oldest and my husband shovel and salt our walkway and driveway. The kids help with watching the little one, walking the dog, making beds, doing dishes and baking a marble cake – don’t make the mistake of being trapped in a house with four children and no snacks unless you want a first-hand re-enactment of the Donner party. Consider this my public service announcement.
During the school week there is homework, after school activities, studying, etc. The weekend is full of family get-together, CCD, church, studying, and play dates. The Snow Day is a gift. Once the essentials are done, I like to go with the flow. This is a time for us to catch up on life with no other pressing matters. We chat, joke, and make plans.
We also take time to sit down and watch our favorite TV shows. I know most people don’t consider TV viewing as family time, but let me tell you, it takes us an hour and a half to finish a 44-minute show. My kids think of all sorts of things they want to discuss, triggered by an event or comment in whatever show we’re watching. Reruns of Psych have inspired conversations on science, history, religion. It’s amazing to watch the kids’ minds at work.
Granted, I referee the occasional fight, but that’s par for the course whether or not there is snow on the ground. I also don’t get to take a break and just do what I want to do (if I’m honest with myself, those opportunities are scarce and have been since I’ve started a family).
So, instead of writing the letter to the Board of Director’s at my son’s school, we play a game. Instead of making the calls I need to make and shopping for Friday’s fundraiser, we read together. I planned on writing 7,000 words today in my mystery novel; that didn’t happen. Yes, I’m falling behind and will have more work tomorrow, but that’s fine. I’m enjoying this day and making the most of it. I won’t get another day like this one, and I’m going to make the most of it with my loves.