Scene: Early, weekday morning. Sleep-deprived, dishevelled woman sitting in front of desk, drinking coffee and stuffing face with a bagel while typing one-handed. Two boys in the background alternating between eating breakfast and fighting.
Phone rings. Woman answers.
Hello. This is a phone call from the “only school district in Ontario to close schools due to snowstorms.” We will be closing all schools today.
Woman hangs up phone, sits back chuckling. “Suckers!” she’s thinking.
Woman’s eyes suddenly grow wide as she jumps from her chair. Holy shit! I live in the “only school district in Ontario to close schools due to snowstorms!”
Woman starts crying.
Okay, I didn’t actually cry. But there really was a brain freeze moment when I didn’t realize the school district they were referring to was my school district and the “holy shit” moment when it dawned on me it was. Any plans I had for the day had just been thrown out the window.
While I may end up sounding like my parents or grandparents, when I was a kid, they never cancelled school. Ten feet of snow on the ground? Open. Tornado just tore through leaving only a desk and a chalkboard? Open. Measles outbreak? Open. 45 degrees and a humidex warning? Open, and send shorts for gym class, we’ll be having it outside today as it’s too hot in the gym.
My parents both worked and we lived one block away from our elementary school. If there was a snowstorm we were going whether we liked it or not. By ourselves. Trudging through the snow, complaining and grumbling not appreciating the awesomeness that was about to unfold before us.
And it was awesome. The most awesomest awesome that ever awesomed. Because there’d only be a handful of kids in the entire school. And even though we thought the teachers had made a pact with the devil in order to get to the school in the midst of a storm. Guess what? They didn’t want to be there either. So we’d all just hang out in one classroom and do art projects and word searches, read books from the library and play games in the gym. At recess we’d go out to play on the snowplow mountains where we’d scramble to the top and push off anyone who dared tried to reach us, yelling "I'm the king of the castle and you're the dirty rascal." Actually push them! And they’d fall. Then a really weird thing would happen. They’d pick themselves up and climb up that hill again. And then they’d push you and you’d fall. How awesome is that?
And we’d throw snowballs. Ya, there was the one incident involving a more ice than snow ball and Eye Patch Pete, but for the most part it was fun. Funner than face washes where the snow would scratch your face and nobody would know if you were dripping melted snow from your red, frozen face-icle or crying. But it didn’t really matter because while your face was being ground into the snow, we’d eat it. Actually eat the snow! And nobody would tell us how dangerous it was! We’d eat the snow because we were too lazy to go in and get a drink from the water fountains. And we’d continue to eat it until we thought we were going to pee in our snowsuits and then it would be a race against time. Would we be able to run all the way inside to the washrooms (by ourselves, no washroom partners thankyouverymuch), get out of our boots and unzip our one-piece snowsuits before the pee came? Some days you won, and others? Meh. A few years of therapy and I'm totally over the whole Pee Pants Sharon thing.
We ended up having a fantastic snow day filled with tobogganing and skating, hot chocolate with marshmallows, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, movie watching and playing Rock Band. At the end of the day both boys told me their high point was having a snow day. Snow days are awesome mom!
Times may have changed but he’s right. Snow days are awesome.
Know what else is awesome? This...