The term “snow day” brings so many emotions to so many people. For kids, it’s a day off from school with fun at home; for parents, it’s a day home with their kids, which could be a good thing or a not so good thing; for teachers, it’s a student free day that (in North Carolina) could be spent in the classroom or on the couch, no less doing mountains of back work; and for me, it’s turned into another day in the life of #theadventuresofsj. Another day of preparing meals and snacks, tripping over the alphabet blocks that blend so nicely into the floor and being told, “NO!” in the sassiest of toddler ways. Would I change it…not for the world. It’s all about perspective. When I was a kid in upstate New York, snow days meant mountains of snow and spending the day tunneling through the snow built up at the end of the driveway from the warring plow trucks. As a teacher, I would get so excited when I would see Wake County flash across the bottom of the screen. My to-do list would change from daily data collection tasks to adaption and modification projects that had been hiding under my desk. Now as a parent, the level of stress balances the excitement of being stuck in the house all day. The only other times that we are stuck in the house all day, is when someone is sick. Stuck home sick doesn’t allow for playing Starbucks for hours, making banana bread, or marching up and down the driveway to see our footprints.
Thinking about a snow day and all of the excitement that it brings makes me think about the news I received on the morning of my birthday. Another one of previous students had passed away that morning. This sweet boy had a smile that would light up the room and a head of hair that we would all be jealous of. His family gave me the honor of two years with him. Over the two years with him, I became accustomed to his likes, dislikes and absolute loves! One of his absolute loves was Elmo. We could spend the entire morning center time activating a switch toy of a dancing Elmo figure with a pizza that had eyes that would open and closed. Elmo would sing a song that would bring his smile out. I can sing the song just thinking about it–“a pie– is made of dough and then you throw it, into the air, into the air…” As Elmo would sing and dance, my amazing student was free. You are free now our sweet boy. We will miss you, love Ms. Emily.
Fast forward to this snow day, I sit with my sweet girl who has just started to enjoy Sesame Street, especially Elmo. Her face lights up when Elmo comes on the screen, just like his face would light up when Elmo would begin to dance. These are the moments that help shape the type of parent that I want to be because it’s all about perspective.