In praise of snow days
It's a snow day in my neck of the woods -- our first of the year. Many years, we've had a few snow days by now, but not this year. I'm not going to lie: There's something nice about a snow day. I love having my family home with me, snuggled in for the day, and there's something so magical about waking up to find the world blanketed in a fresh coat of pristine snow. I know, there's not much to be considered magical about having to dig one's way to the car and then to brave the elements and the people who forget how to drive in bad conditions every year, and i know I'm spoiled by my commute from my bed to the couch (aka my "home office" :)) but if you don't have to go anywhere, there's something special about a snow day.
Snow days are nostalgic. Although I don't remember getting as many as kids in my area get today, there was something great about waking up to hear those two magical words: SNOW DAY! It meant a whole day of unscheduled possibility laying out before you. (In all honesty, I was the kid who worried about missing school, but I soon figured out how to embrace snow days, since everyone else was missing school, too). Snow days, when I was a kid, meant days spent watching TV shows I'd normally have to miss during the day (in the prehistoric days before PVRs) drinking hot chocolate (before my coffee habit had taken root) and disappearing into the pages of a book (some things haven't changed). Not to mention the unbridled joy that comes from stepping outside into that fresh coating of snow, boots crunching down satisfyingly into the unspoiled expanse of the backyard, and then running around like a crazy person, leaving a manic trail of footprints and kid-sized angel prints in the snowy yard. And then there's the simple pleasure of looking to the sky on a snow day, mouth open, to catch those delicate, lacy flakes on one's tongue. Pure childhood bliss.
These days, those simple pleasures belong to my daughter, as my days of playing in the snow are long behind me, but my snow-day pleasures come from watching her experience the wonder and joy of a snowy day, of making hot chocolate for her when she comes indoors, and of giving her lots of snuggles to warm her up. For the grown-up me, those are the pleasures that a snow day brings.
What are your snow day traditions?
If you're looking for a book to share on these snowy winter days, consider Snow by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer. This absolutely magical book captures, in words and illustration, the wonder of a snow day. In the book, a young girl, along with her grandmother and a friend, explore the many wonderful things there are to love about snowy days. It's the kind of book that reminds us that snow is something more than just a nuisance to contend with. It's a beautiful, natural wonder that we should take the time to enjoy, just as we did on those snow days from school all those years ago.