When I was a kid, I was a Weather Channel addict — back in the days of white text on a blue screen with Kenny G. playing along with the forecast. My dad watched TWC often, and so I learned the magic that was snowfall forecast might equal snow day. I went to bed knowing there was an 80% chance of snow, with 3-6 inches possible by morning. I woke up in the early morning hours to crack open my window blinds and see how much snow was piled up on the front porch banister. I liked the thrill of maybe seeing several inches, and of course, if the forecast was a fluke, I’d go back to sleep pissed. The sound of snow plows woke me up around sunrise, which usually meant a 2-hour delay if anything. If all was quiet at 5:30 a.m., there was a ton of snow on the porch and roads, and there were no snow plows rolling up and down Erbacon Road, SNOW DAY, BABY.
Back then, I couldn’t always rely on the news stations in Beckley, Charleston and Clarksburg, West Virginia, to receive and report the latest school closings on the morning news in a timely fashion. Sometimes the info didn’t make it to the stations at all, for whatever reason. Other times, the radio stations reported a 2-hour delay, the TV stations said nothing, but someone would call my house with the gossip that, in fact, school was cancelled. The superintendent couldn’t make a fits-all decision a lot of the time, because the elevation in my school district varied greatly between the mountains and valleys. When school operated on normal schedule despite dangerous conditions outside, my dad would declare his own damn 2-hour delay or snow day. That’s how we rolled in the Humphreys house — if he wasn’t getting out in it, ain’t nobody else gettin’ out in it, either!
And now, here I am, something like 25-30 years later, teaching my preschooler the joys of a snow day (is that wrong? I don’t care of it is). We’re living in a totally different state that’s more equipped to deal with large amounts of snow, and there’s fancy text notification systems to keep us on track in terms of accurate closing and delay info, so the element of surprise I enjoyed in my childhood is missing. But, Jay can still look at the weather forecast on the phone, and watch the weather maps on the local news. He already knows and loves snow plows, and his teachers explained snow days already, so here we are. One flake flies, and he asks if it will cancel school. I can’t lie; with a relatively decent bit of quick-moving snow moving through the area tonight into early morning, I’m excited to find out if he has a snow day tomorrow!
Yes. I’m excited about whether or not my kid has a snow day tomorrow. Will it snow? Will it not snow? Will it snow enough to delay school? Will it snow just enough to get
me us excited, only to let us down? I’ll still be going to work, but knowing he could potentially experience an unexpected day off from school (that isn’t illness-related) really thrills me.
I’m a grown-ass woman, but a kid at heart!