Apart from the last day of school, trick-or-treating, fireworks, watermelon seed-spitting contests, Easter baskets, summer camp, days at the beach, Valentine cards, trips to the amusement park, lighting farts, and Christmas morning, there’s nothing quite so wondrous for a child than a snow day.
Sadly, adults don’t look at winter storms in quite the same way as children. To them, a blizzard is another word for “Highway Bumper Cars,” “Lower Back Pain,” and “Hello, 911? My husband is face down in the snow.”
No, instead of leaping in joyous rapture each time a ridiculously grinning weatherman proclaims the imminent arrival of a significant winter weather event, grownups look upon the coming squall with dread. To them, it’s just extra work with the added perks of frostbite and heart attacks.
Plus, they don’t get a day off from school.
For a child to reap the maximum value from a snowstorm, though, it must occur during the week. A Saturday blizzard does no good and neither does Sunday, unless it’s so severe that nobody could plow the streets for school buses the next morning.
The primo days are either Friday or Monday. However, if the storm strikes on Friday, the town has two whole days to clean the mess before classes start the following week. A Monday storm is perfect because it holds out the possibility of school being closed the following day, too.
Never mind that an excessive number of snow days may push the final day of school until the Fourth of July. Shoot, that’s months away! Like kids everywhere, all they care about is instant gratification.
Memorizing which television channels broadcast cancellations the earliest, kids get up well before dawn, intent on hearing their school proclaimed as one of the lucky few. This, of course, causes woeful parents to lament “they should pay as much attention during math class!”
Upon hearing the happy news, they go on to plan their day, based on the projected amounts of snowfall. If, as they fervently hope, the heavens dump more than a foot, the possibilities are endless. Whether snow forts, snowmen, snow angels, or snowball fights, the day is wide open for all manner of snow fun.
Ignoring their mother’s vain pleas to “eat a good breakfast,” the older children dash outside just about at the same time their father is trying to breathe life into the balky snow thrower.
The littlest ones can’t escape their mother’s clutches quite so easily. In addition to a hot bowl of something to “stick to their ribs” (which is physically impossible and kinda icky, if you really stop and think about it), they must dress as if their very lives depended on staying warm.
Steadfast in the belief that one must dress in layers, moms manage to outfit their youngest in everything from their closets. Once that’s done, on go the leggings, sweater, overcoat, wool socks, boots, and those mittens whose strings loop through sleeves.
Following the inevitable bathroom break, the process begins all over again.
Once completed, the youngsters waddle outside like toddler Frankensteins. Where they are powerless to dodge snowballs from their older, much more mobile, siblings.
Next: Winter Wonderland