They can't have a normal school year but they can have snow days. And that's worth something.

By Zara Hanawalt
November 05, 2020
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There's something almost magical about a snow day. The excitement of waking up to the news school is canceled, of staying in pajamas all day long to watch movies and sip hot chocolate—it's pure childhood bliss. And one school district knows that this just the kind of magic kids need in this crazy, tragic year.

Despite provisions for virtual learning that are in place, this district wants to keep snow days on the roster should inclement weather appear. A father tweeted out the message from his kid's school district on the matter, and it's going viral.

"We have decided that few childhood acts remain unchanged due to COVID-19 and we will maintain the hope of children by calling actual snow days due to inclement weather," the screenshotted message reads.

And the dad's caption? It gets right to the heart of what I'm feeling upon seeing this. "Absolutely LOVE this from our school district superintendent," he writes. "Sure, we could do virtual classes on snow days now, but why would we take *another* thing away from the kids? I dunno what it says about me but this email almost made me cry."

It may not seem like much, especially when you consider that some snow days typically don't even pop up every school year, so there's no real way of knowing if the kids will even get one before the pandemic eases up. But this gesture is really beautiful, and just what kids (and the grown-ups who raise them) need right now.

Our kids are being deprived of so much normalcy, from not being able to hug or high-five their friends to canceled birthday parties and a pared-down holiday season. This little bit of familiarity, this spark of magic they look forward to when the snow starts falling, has such power. Sure, you can argue that kids who live in warmer parts of the world never get snow days, but children who live in colder climates who won't be able to experience outdoor playdates or simple COVID escapes like trips to the park during the colder months deserve this.

As a mom who lives in a city that'll get cold and dreary in the next few weeks (or months, if we're lucky), I have a lot of fears about how I'll make this winter fun and exciting for my kids. The things we've relied on over the last few months like outdoor meet-ups with friends, trips to the pumpkin patch, picnics at the park and our beloved daily walks) won't be options anymore. And I wonder what they'll have to look forward to—and what I can do to provide that excitement. I think of all the playdates and classes and holiday gatherings and family outings and travel that won't be happening anytime soon, and I force myself to remember that while this pandemic has given us more than enough to worry about, we can't forget about how it's affecting our children.

So kudos to this school for realizing that even though we can safely hold virtual school days when the weather is frightful, the value of giving kids something to be so excited about matters right now.

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