Now, given the forecast, this was probably not so earth-shattering. Yet, for years, the years when my kids were too young to stay alone, and I worked countless daytime hours (especially on a snow day, when my commuting co-workers couldn't get there), the announcement of school or not came in the wee morning hours. I might wake at 4 and 4:30 and 5 to check, but if the white stuff wasn't already blinding, you never really knew till you knew. So, at 5:30 am, there were "who can stay home" looks, and "how will our sitter get here" conversations, and in general, a whole lot of chaos at a very early hour.
And so it was that this week's night-before "schools closing" announcement shocked me, not only because of its parent-friendly timing, but also because of the degree to which it suddenly mattered a lot less to me than it once did. Suddenly (though, I suppose, not so suddenly), my kids are old enough to fend for themselves for a while. Suddenly (though, I suppose, not so suddenly), we don't have to worry about a sitter having to travel. And suddenly (though, I suppose, not so suddenly), I am actually home during the day anyway. Not necessarily so coherent after a night's work, but home.
We forget sometimes that as things around us change, we are changing too. Suddenly, the things that mattered so much are just a blip on the radar. Suddenly, the way we once thought has given way to the way that we now think daily.
I was still grateful for the early "snow day" announcement, because I know how much it matters in a great many households, and because I remember how much it once mattered in mine. And because though I may have been at work when the snow began to fall, the rest of my family got not just the snow day, but the sleeping in day that only a night-before announcement can give. Sometimes a snow night is just as great as a snow day...