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The Snow Day Years

Snow Day – the two magical words that conjure up joy and excitement in school children, and some of us moms! The promise of lazing around in pajamas, being cozy inside, then braving the glorious snow to play outside. I have loved snow days since I was a child, eagerly waiting for my mom to share the thrilling news that came with the phone call chain from the school or flashed across the tv screen’s list of school closings. I am one of those moms who hoped and wished for snow days every Winter that my kids were in school right up until my youngest went to college a couple of months ago. Who am I kidding, I still wish for snow days because they bring with them so much more than a day off from school or work.

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Snow days represent a precious era of childhood and motherhood, days where time pauses and we get to soak in all of the simple joys of life and some carefree time. Snow days were a regular occurrence throughout my childhood, with one exceptionally big storm that left us with multiple feet of snow and a week off of school (blizzard of 1979 in Chicago). Those awe-inspiring days were filled with baking with my mom, watching tv with my brother, building snowmen and snow forts and walking (yes…walking) almost a mile to my best friend’s house to play. Maybe it was the break in the routine, maybe it was getting to feel all warm and cozy at home with my family, maybe it was that time seemed to stand still for a little while and the world looked beautiful and peaceful. But these days – snow days – are among those that are forever etched in my memory and in my heart.

I didn’t realize just how meaningful my snow day memories were until my kids were in school and I experienced snow days as a mom. All the cherished feelings came flooding back in a new, unexpected and beautiful way. I was one of those moms who had mixed emotions when my little ones started going to school. I loved how it opened up their world to new friends and learning. But I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t share that it made me feel a little sad to have them spend so much time not with me. Worse, it seemed to make time move even more quickly than it had already been moving. So you can imagine how I embraced snow days, joining with Mia and Ben as we filled with anticipation at their prospect and celebrated with excitement when they were announced. 

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Our Snow Day Years started out simple and evolved as Mia and Ben grew. Moms of teens and college kids I bet you’ll recognize some of our snow day pleasures. Moms with little ones maybe you’ll get an idea or two 😉 ⇰

❄  Pajama Day! We stayed in pajamas all day long. Playing in the playroom then putting on snowsuits over PJs to go out in the yard, making snowballs, a snowman and snow angels and tasting the untouched freshly falling snow. 

❄  The snowplow created a hill on either side of the driveway so Mia and Ben each claimed one and it became their side for years to come. Climbing up and sliding down, digging into the hills to make igloos, hiding behind them during snowball fights.

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❄ Special snow day breakfasts of homemade waffles or pancakes ~ Mia and Ben walked to friends’ houses in the neighborhood for more snowy antics and returned home for hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy cane stir sticks. 

❄ Carrying on my own childhood tradition of filling the house with the delicious aroma of home-baked cookies – I savored baking marathons with Mia. Baking together became our special “thing” when she was just 2 – snow day baking took on a magic all its own. 

❄ It was the blizzard of 2011 and we knew for days that a big one was on the way. Our middle and elementary schools called school early and parents took 30 minutes (for a usual 5 minute drive) to get our kids home before the storm kicked into high gear. After the storm passed we were left with 2 feet of beautiful snow, housebound for the first day (although David was convinced he could get his car out and ended up stuck at the bottom of the driveway in a mound of snow!) and free to explore the peaceful white aftermath in our neighborhood on the second and third snow days.

❄ Sometimes snow days saw clear roads by the afternoon, and we’d go to local sledding hills with our snow tubes – nothing like that carefree exhilaration of sliding fast down the hill with my two kids, feeling like a kid myself again.

❄ In the last few years we gained a new appreciation for snow days. The anticipation and excitement were still there, but my big kids’ eyes now took in the pristine beauty of the snow falling. Especially at night when the world was extra silent – Ben would stand outside on our driveway just listening and taking in this peace. Mia joined him sometimes, capturing the most exquisite pictures and videos – physical memories of this magical time to reinforce the ones we carry in our minds and hearts. 

I tried to soak in every bit of the Snow Day Years. The years that were all about raising children and relishing any chance to hit pause and immerse in this time of life. I reminded myself all along the way to really pay attention and treasure all the moments. Each snow day felt like a timeless oasis amidst a flurry of days and months and years. The Snow Day Years.

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