In defense of snow days

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

It’s all a matter of perspective. 

When a kid hears school is called off due to snow, they rejoice, thinking of all the good things that means–sleeping in, sledding, and hot chocolate. 

When a parent hears school is called off due to snow, they lament, thinking of all the potential problems that causes–work, child care, and finances.  

Thinking back on the good ol’ days of my childhood, I have fond memories of snow days. My sister and I would build snowmen, go sledding on steep farm hills, and enjoy snacks like fresh baked cookies. 

As a parent with multiple jobs, I’ve definitely become “a stick in the mud.” When our normal schedule is interrupted, my mind starts racing as I try to figure out how I can get all my work done while also providing for my son’s needs and desires. 

Not to mention clearing the snow at home and at work. 

To be fair, this is nothing new. It’s a balancing act every parent faces, just as they have for generations. But the pace of the modern world, I think, exacerbates the tension we face now. 

So when we got the text yesterday afternoon from the school system saying school was cancelled on Tuesday, you might expect me to sigh. Or moan, Or complain. Because I’m still trying to catch up at work after the holidays, Monday was another day off, and…here we go again. 

But the strangest thing happened when I went out and played in the snow with my son.

I felt like a kid again. We slipped and fell during the middle of a ferocious snowball fight, and we couldn’t stop laughing. The wonder and excitement and magic of a snow day completely changed my perspective. 

We did some work too, clearing snow at our church and house. And after we’d played for a while, I worked in the office while he chilled out. 

Was it as productive as usual? No. But it was productive enough. And it was a blast. 

So please accept this essay in defense of snow days. Sometimes it’s good to play. To laugh. To slow down and watch the snow fall. 

Not everyone has this luxury. A number of essential workers who clear our roads, keep the lights on, and staff our hospitals, just to name a few, remain productive no matter what for the good of us all. We salute them! And hope they have the chance to go sledding sometime soon this winter as well. 

Speaking of sledding, that’s where you’ll find me tomorrow. Because my perspective on snow days has changed. These are the good ol’ days. And there’s nowhere I’d rather be than racing my son down a slope.  

Work can wait. It’s not everyday that God gives you the gift of a snow day.

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