Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Night

The forecast had stayed pretty specific. We knew, as well as you can know anything about the weather, that there would be snow. The question was, would there be school? As it turned out, by dinner time, we knew that too--school was cancelled for the following day before kids even went to bed.

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...

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