We've been waiting for a snow day here. Last year I promised Scott that there would be at least one good snow storm where he would have an official day off from school. It never happened. This year there hasn't even been a delayed opening, a highly anticipated event given that it would be Scott's first time experiencing the thrill of an unexpected shortened day.
The principal at Scott's school is retiring this year. I do not know the man very well, but he gets mixed reviews and it does seem like it is time for someone new. A week ago a notice came home announcing his replacement, a woman, and there has been speculation about what kind of changes she might bring with her.
When Scott came home from school on Thursday, he was talking about a possible snow storm brewing. "If school is delayed, the principal cuts out recess time."
"Oh, really, I guess that makes sense. Who told you that?"
"My teacher. She told us all about times when it snowed before."
After a brief silence, he asked, "Mom, why can't that new principal start now?"
"Huh? Well, usually principals start at the beginning of a school year to make the transition smoother. What a minute. I doubt the new person is going to let you have recess on a delayed opening day anymore than your current principal."
In the morning there were a few inches of snow on the ground and school was called off. Hooray! I expected all smiles from my boy and instead I got, "Great. Now we have to make it up at the end of the year. It will cut into my summer."
Leave it to Scott. He really has a knack for finding the negative in every situation.
But the day turned out to be as good as it gets, really, as far as snow days are concerned. Matt went out early and shoveled some then we all bundled up and went out to shovel and play.
I grew up in a snow skiing family. I learned how to ski when I was five years old, snowplowing in front of my father. My childhood is filled with very happy memories of being outside, gliding down the mountain, wriggling my toes to stay warm, and lunch with hot chocolate before heading back out in the cold. My kids do not experience these same things as often as I did.
I couldn't help but notice as we were outside how ideal the conditions were. The temperature was cool, but not too cold. The snow was fluffy, wet enough for snow balls and snow man making, but not overly soggy or slushy. I smiled to myself thinking of my mother describing the conditions as "peas and mashed potatoes" when the snow would get chunked up and then thick on a skiing day. I knew that the melting layer on top would make for a crunchy cover the next day, or a thin layer of ice where the snow had not melted all the way.
We all shoveled and the kids made snow angels and rolled around. After a long time we came in, changed our clothes, snuggled up and had hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows. Late in the afternoon the kids went back out with Matt and made another snow man and sledded with the neighbors on their front yard hill.
When they came back, wet and tired, in it was almost time for dinner. Matt made chili, Scott took a bath, and Jane watched a little TV. We were all exhausted in that good way from lots of fresh air and activity.
And all sound asleep early. A fitting ending to our perfect snow day.