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Today's Family Magazine

There’s Snow Easy Way to Say it—School’s On!

By Cheryl Maguire

I realize I may sound like a person who was born in the 1900s, with tales of walking 1,000 miles to school, but I am going to babble away anyway despite my dated references and occasional senility.

When I was growing up the only way we received a snow day was if there was actual snow on the ground— and massive amounts of it.  At least six inches or more of real accumulated snow sticking to the street would be the only way we would be able to receive a day off from school.

Most of the time though, we got an hour delay and then we had to trek through the storm anyway.  I have done an extremely scientific survey of other parents my age which entailed a complex method of responding to my Facebook post and they all agreed that snow days—back in the day—required actual snow that was almost as tall or taller than you were.  So, I am not just some delusional mid-aged woman even though some people may disagree with that assessment (definitely don’t ask my kids what they think.)

The school my children attend cancels school before a drop of any type of precipitation falls from the sky. Often it is canceled the day before a possible storm when it is sunny, and the roads are clear.  As far as I am concerned, this is not logical thinking especially when more often than not, the meteorologists are wrong about their forecasts.  I can think of numerous times when there was an incorrect forecast because the storm moved in another direction, which resulted in no snow and no school and my kids basking in the sun, as if it was a summer school-free day.

My children have become so accustomed to having no school when it is not snowing that they are in a state of disbelief and denial when they have to attend.  One morning there was, at most, a half of an inch of accumulation of snow on the ground when my 10-year-old son darted into my room.

“Mom, do we have school today?” my son asked, expecting to hear the word “no” (which is about the only time he actually wants to hear that word).

“Yes,” I responded (again about the only time he actually does NOT want to hear the word “yes”).

“Are you sure?” he asked.  He continued with his line of questioning, hoping that somehow doubting me would result in a different answer.

“Yes, I know it is shocking, but you do have school today.  Believe me I’m just as surprised as you are.”

“Can you turn the TV on and make sure?” he asked persevering, without giving up hope.

I did as he requested only to see a reporter talking about the weather (big surprise), but in this case he was referring to a storm outside our region that was closing schools for several days.

“They are referring to schools to the south, not here,” I immediately told my son before he got too excited.

“Oh, come on!” he said as he threw his hands up in the air, in disgust.

He then realized the blue strip at the bottom of the screen was displaying school closings near where we lived.  Just to summarize in case you are feeling confused—a few schools near us, as well as south of us, were closed, so I can see why he might feel a little disappointed.

“Andover closed, Ashland closed, Bedford closed,” he read from the screen.

“Mom is our school closed?” he asked again.

“No, you need to get ready for school.”

“Ugh!” he yelled as stomped towards his room.

“At least with having school you will get out of school sooner in the summer and you can go outside,” I respond although I realize this is more of a positive for me then for him since he would much rather play video games all day.

As a child when I heard this annoying line of reasoning I thought, “I don’t care, I want a day off now!” so I can sympathize with his plight.

But as a mom who walked 1,000 miles to school in two feet of snow, I’m positive my son can muster up the strength to trek through some snow sprinkles.  Although when he tells his kids about it one day it will probably sound more like an avalanche.

Bio: Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree.  She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter.