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The Magic of a Snow Day

Remember what Snow Days were like?He’s been waiting since March — back when the snow withered down to wet stomping puddles and the weather warmed to match nature’s anticipation for new leaves and budding flowers.

He’s been waiting for snow, again.

For me, it’s all dangerous roads, frozen toes, and leaving the house early to clean off a car. It’s pretty and Christmas-y, sure, but snow is mostly an inconvenience. My main thought going into winter is, “Okay. Here we go. We’ll get through this.”

But this week we got a dumping of white fluff after a full day of big flakes falling around our house like a snow globe. It wasn’t the kind of hard, ice-like snow that crunches under your feet and causes hips to break and cars to slide. It wasn’t the kind of flurry that hits the ground and evaporates within hours.

It was the kind of snow made for playing.

It was the kind of snow that shuts things down — businesses, schools, plans. It forces adults to throw up their hands and succumb to the will of nature, and to maybe remember that spark of excitement that came with a Snow Day.

And I forgot just how bright that spark can burn for a kid on a Snow Day. I forgot until I saw it glowing in my son’s eyes.

I wrongly remembered Snow Days as being about an unexpected day off from school. (To be fair, I spent many snowy mornings perched up in bed, listening to the radio report with fingers crossed and pajamas on backwards — silently willing the DJ to read my school’s name in his alphabetical list).

But as a little kid, Snow Days were so much more.

Snow Days were about waddling out the door in puffy layers, wearing boots that barely budged at the ankle and bulky waterproof gloves that were only good for packing snowballs.

Snow Days were about running up hills only to zoom down them on a sled — the icy wind cutting across your cheeks and tickling your ears until they’re numb. And it might hurt, except all of the running and laughing and tumbling makes you feel more sweaty than chilly.

Remember the magic of a snow day?

Snow Days were about breathing out cold air like a dragon.

They were about snowmen building with neighborhood friends, and being dragged around on a sled (or a blow-up tube, or a laundry basket) by a panting grown-up while you hold on tight and giggle.

snow day 5

Snow Days were about laying down in mounds of white, mouths open, tongues outstretched — trying to catch flakes falling from the white-grey sky. They were about piling snow up with your gloves and then sneaking a lick or two.

Snow Days were a time when ordinary weekdays turned into unexpected magic. Magic from the sky!

And then Snow Days were about stomping back into the house, damp and winded with rosy red cheeks, only to realize that you can’t feel your toes or your nose, and every part of your body needs warming. And so you cuddle under some blankets with hot chocolate, waiting three or four beats before asking, “Can we do that again?”

***

For me, as a parent, Snow Days are about remembering.

And having that pot of hot chocolate ready.

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