Chacos column: Three reasons we love a snow day
Enjoy the Ride
“Put a spoon under your pillow!” the youngest shouts with glee. The oldest adds, “Everyone knows you have to flush an ice cube down the toilet!”
I mentally note my daughter now seems to also be an expert in witchcraft and will circle back to that one later. The middle child scoffs with a “Pfft!” and closes his eyes for the night, trusting his siblings will cast all the right spells.
He wants a Snow Day, too, except he’s extraordinarily cool these days to entertain us with his care.
The next morning, the alarm rudely interrupts my dream at 5 a.m., and I lift my head to look outside. There’s snow, but not enough to deliberately turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. I snooze. I roll over. I tackle the day’s Wordle. I check the weather forecast. I wait.
A few minutes later, a symphonic crescendo from every phone in the house alerts us to the best example of how two words can happily bring out the best in one another: Snow Day. Two children scream, “I told you so!” and go back to bed. The third child smiles, breathes an audible sigh of relief, and closes his eyes once again. He cares, and I know he will thank his siblings later for their successful sorcery the night before.
At this point, getting out of bed is effortless, and I float downstairs to wait for the coffee to finish brewing. When I take my first sip, the coffee’s nuance rolls over my tongue. The taste is fruity, bitter but smooth, and every time I take in the morning’s sweet elixir, I am filled with the day’s possibilities. My senses are heightened, and I know the Snow Day is responsible for the best cup of coffee that has ever crossed my lips. This is reason alone to fall in love with a Snow Day.
Later, I shovel with the kids, and not because I want to ease their burden, but because it floods me with memories from my childhood. My brother and I would spend hours tackling our driveway with shovels that would buckle under the heavy, East Coast snow. We were envious of our neighbor’s snowblower, a boy named Rusty always finishing his entire driveway in the time my brother and I cleared two zigzagged rows on our own.
We pleaded for my dad to borrow the blower, but he always said, “No,” and then shake his head in what may have been disappointment or disgust. “When you grow up, you’ll understand,” I can almost hear him say. A Snow Day uncovers nostalgia’s conflicting emotions, and I tell myself to deconstruct that with my brother later in the day.
Lastly, a Snow Day has its own panache a weekend or bank holiday simply can’t mimic. This bonus day swiftly repels all adult appointments and errands while begging kids to build forts and hurl snowballs at unsuspecting targets. The day is filled with glorious disarray as parents are forced to take kids to offices declaring in measured words in a higher-than-normal pitch, “Let’s go see where mommy works!” and, “We’ll have sooo much fun!”
The lucky ones are left home alone to fend for themselves while parents trudge to work, debating internally the lesser of two evils. Alas, adults must carry on while the kids play. All sense of order can’t attach itself to a kid on a Snow Day, no matter how much it tries.
My daughter tells me to wear my pajamas inside out and backwards tonight for good luck. She feels another snowstorm brewing, she lets us all know. Perhaps unbridled enthusiasm from a teen may be the best reason yet to love a Snow Day.
Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale, balancing work and happily raising three children with her husband. She strives to dodge curveballs life likes to throw with a bit of passion, humor and some flair.
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