I don't want to sound all, "when I was a kid I walked to school, up a hill, BOTH ways", but I have to for just a moment.
I feel like it's kind of sucky that kids find out rather promptly when there are snow days. Our immediate need for information gets us text messages, emails and phone calls the moment a superintdent or principal decides to cancel school. Some random robot voice calls and lets you know about the school cancellation due to inclement weather. Long gone are the days of waking up, looking out the window to see the snow, but not knowing whether or not you'd get a snow day.
On those days, when I was a kid, we'd spot the snow, but would proceed to get ready for school - because you just never knew. We'd also take a moment to switch the radio to AM, and find the station that would read off the school closings. For us, that was KMOX, and it was difficult to get the radio to tune into 1120 without a lot of static. Once the antenna was adjusted and the station was broadcasting clearly, my sisters and I would gather around it. Dressed in our plaid uniforms, eating our bowls of cereal, we'd offer up silent prayers that school would indeed be cancelled. Meanwhile, my mom would be muttering under her breath about the possibility of a snow day, but would say out lout, "they rarely cancel school girls. You're definitely going."
Holding onto hope we would park ourselves directly in front of that radio and watch the clock At the top of each hour, they'd re-read the list of closuers. Schools, businesses, programs - they were read in alphabetical order by the team of broadcasters. If you can believe it, those listings were typed up by some administrative assistant (back then called a secretary), as the station received the phone calls. Yes Virginia, the principal would call the radio station. Can you believe it? People, this was breaking news. At least it was at that time.
Our school was a Saint. St. Mary's to be exact. We'd wait for the S's to come around, and then we'd be surprised and how many darn Saint schools there were in the St. Louis metro area. As they approached the Saint M's, we'd get quiet and lean in. If by some stroke of luck, St. Mary's was named, we had to make sure it was our St. Mary's. Because hello? There was a high school, and two gradeschools that all shared that same name.
If at that point we had a snow day - rare, but beautiful when it happened - the whooping and hollering began as uniforms were traded for PJs, and the television was turned on and set to cartoons. It was awesome. The finding out about the snow day was as awesome as the snow day itself.
And sometimes? Sometimes my mom would listen to KMOX for us, before we'd even gotten up. Then she'd sneak into our room and turn off the alarm. We'd wake, after our usual 6:30 a.m. wake up time and be panicked. "OHMYGAWD WE SLEPT THROUGH THE ALARM WE ARE GONNA BE LATE!" We would fly down the stairs to find my mom back in her bed with a cup of coffee, staring at us as if we were loons. She'd calmly inform us that we had a snow day. We'd respond by losing our minds with joy, screams and giggles. Either way of finding out about a snow day was fabulous.
And sure, a snow day is still good - for kids. But the anticipation of it all? Long gone. We generally find out the night before. The kids find out, and then can stay up late, and turn off their alarms before even going to bed. They still feel as if they have won the lottery when Mike and I simulanteously grown 'snow day' while reading our text message from the school. But you know, it's just not the same. They should put in their time huddled around the radio, trying to tune in the right station.
It's a rite of passage, no?