Snow days matter.
It’s that time of year and I say, “Snow days are not a time of angst or worry. And they are not to be taken lightly. “ I learned this early in my parenting days. My husband and I had two small girls and were both working outside the home. A big snowstorm came. We bundled up both girls. He took one and I took the other. Except, we came to an incline up to a small bridge and couldn’t make it up. It was a no go. I came back home and called in to work to let them know I couldn’t make it. The next day, my boss called me into his office. Oh, no. He was never one for eloquent words, but said, “Umm, it’s not like we carry the mail here. If it snows, stay home.” Hallelujah! I love that mantra. Kept it all the way through my working career. When I worked up to being the director of an organization, it was a joke around the office. If Susan can make it to work, anyone can.
Yes, I definitely see the value of snow days.
You see, we lived on a small lake, and had one of the steepest driveways imaginable. At the bottom of that driveway was an even steeper hill down to the lake. On snow days – be there! Our house was sledding central. All of the neighborhood kids were there, even moms and dads sometimes. And I welcomed it. Childhood is not just about parenting; it’s the memories. It’s getting to know the neighborhood kids in a positive activity.
It’s getting down that hill in one piece.
So, parents, be prepared ahead of time. I cannot tell you how many pairs of boots I bought and snow pants!! Yes, snow pants are required. That snow is wet! And they are going to end up in it, roll in it, make snow angels in it. You get the picture. Jeans and sneakers will just not do. Shop after season, consignment and yard sales to be prepared for the next year. And sleds!! Nowadays, it’s not the Red Arrow Flyer. We had one in the early years. My friend was taking her son on it, but decided to start higher up on the driveway. When she got to the top of the hill the sled went airborne and she didn’t!! Oops, cracked coccyxes bone. Ouch! But I stray. The plastic toboggans and saucers have really improved their racing designs. Yeah, actually they are just easy for the kids to maneuver and not too expensive. So, make sure you have those on hand, too.
Doubles are the most fun.
So, moms, send your kids over to the best sledding house in the neighborhood. And go with them, if you want to have fun or just supervise. I’m sure the host mom won’t mind. I always had hot chocolate or tea on hand for everyone. I spent my mornings keeping wet snow (and snowmelt) off my wooden floors. The place was a mess. By afternoon, everyone was tired out. Time for a nap, TV or reading a book. In the afternoon, a few might be back at it, but not many.
Now that I look back on it, those snow days might have been the precursor to the teenage years. Those are the years when you want kids at your house. You want to know what they are doing, who their friends are. And you want the kids to know you. This is not about being the “fun” mom. It’s about being visible; being there. Why not start early?