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Snow Day Memories

On Wednesday of this week, our school district called off school for incredibly low wind chill factors. I totally get is as I wouldn’t my child out in that weather for any length of time. I can only imagine what it would be like for kids that had to wait for a bus in that kind of cold. Although I still have Number 4 at home with me, I find myself missing our old snow days when I had all the kids home with me. I was fortunate that my wife would brave any kind of weather to get to her job so that I could stay home and take care of our kids. I know that not all families are so lucky and that snow days create their own kind of stress as families have to decide who will take care of their kids and who will go to work. My job was always at home so I could continue my normal routine, only with a few more helpers.

When the kids were younger, I have to admit that I hated snow days. I am a man who loves routines. Every day I had planned out from when I would put the kids on the bus until the moment they would walk back in the door. Snow days screwed up that routine. I was now on their schedule! This meant making 4 different lunches, getting everyone dressed to play in the snow, going through our supply of hot chocolate, doing extra loads of laundry of all their wet and stinky outside clothes, arguments about what movie to watch during quiet time, and what seemed like endless toy pick up throughout the entire house. I couldn’t wait for our snow days to be over!

Now looking back, I have different memories. Getting to spend the whole day with kids who were normally in school, receiving a random hug from my son for making it “his best day ever,” my daughter allowing me to snuggle with her during the scary part of the movie and the kids talking non stop to Kori when she got home about how dad let them build blanket forts in the family room. Time certainly changes my perspective on things. Back then I couldn’t wait for the kids to go to bed after being “on” all day. Now I wish I had one more of those snow days with my kids. Number 4 is off doing his own thing, the 2 dogs are sleeping and the only sound in my house right now is the constant running of the furnace.

I truly hope that my kids have fond memories of their childhood snow days. I hope I was able to be in the moment with them years ago and not let my feelings get in the way of them being kids. If I could give my kids or others one piece of advice about snow days, that would be live them up! Make memories with your kids. The “jobs” will be there for you tomorrow. Your kids won’t always be there. They grow up and we train them to move on. It’s the circle of life. On snow days, make snow men with your kids! Let your kids eat what they want, even if you have to make different meals! Make lots of hot cocoa and who cares if they finish their cup! Let the kids destroy the house if they are having fun together! Stop what you are doing and be present with them! That is the greatest gift you can give them and they will remember!

One day it will end and then you will miss your yearly snow days. You will think back fondly to having noise throughout the house. You wish you had a lunch to make or stinky clothes to wash and you will be left with only the sound of the furnace roaring away and the hourly chime of your family’s Grandfather clock.

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