A Wisconsin winter snowstorm is always a special day.  The moment the snow starts to fall children begin to wish for the famous “snow day”.  The anticipation of whether school will be canceled is many times left up to the very last minute.

When I was bringing up my son the “snow day” announcement was cause for great celebration.  My promise to him was if there was a “no school” day for him then it was a “no work” day for me.  Not a “work from home” day that is now so common.  When my son was young, which wasn’t that long ago, people didn’t work from home.  Your home was yours and was for spending time with your family.

So, when the announcement hit I would quietly go into my son’s room and turn off his alarm clock.  Why wake a sleeping child was always my motto.  I would then busy myself making chocolate chip cookies.  I loved the way the house would smell and of course along with the free family day should come a special treat.

When my son would awake we would plan our day.  A nice warm breakfast, nibble on some cookies maybe watch a movie, but first things first, there would need to be time out in the snow. 

There was the clearing of the driveway to tend to but once completed it was time to create in the fluffy white crystals.

One particular day we decided to build a snowman.  Of course being the ever-inclusive type of mother I am, we referred to it as a snow person.  The snow wasn’t the packing sort this particular day but that wasn’t going to stop us.  We mounded it up, packing it and carving it into the shape of a snow person.  After its creation, we decided it looked much too lonely and needed a companion.  After creating the companion it seemed like there was still something missing.  Why of course, we had created Mom and Dad…but where was the child?

Off we went to create another snow person and deemed it to be the child of the first two.  Then came the finishing touches of dressing and bringing the snow people to life.  We went back into the house to gather the appropriate apparel that would identify each.  Mom would have a running hat, dad would have a hunting cap and the child had a knit hat with a tassel on the end.  We found scarves for their necks because certainly, they would be cold.  We put the customary coal for eyes and mouth. No carrots in the house? No problem, we just used a piece of coal for the nose too.  Next, we gathered up twigs for their arms and placed them at different angles so they would be waving at us.  When we were finished we sat in a big snow pile that was left from our shoveling and admired the family we had created.

We finished our day by shedding our now wet clothes in the laundry room and blowing up an air mattress in the living room where we piled up blankets and watched a Christmas movie.  Which movie?  I don’t recall any longer. If I had to guess I would say it was most likely the Barney Christmas Movie but that little detail seems to have escaped me now.  All that mattered was that we had stolen a day away from it all and created our very own snow people family that was now waving at us from outside as we sat warmly in our house looking out the window.

Always cherish the time when you can get away from that which gives you monetary rewards.  The rewards of the memories that can be shared with your child on a snowy day are truly priceless and have a deadline that ends the end of that unexpected snow day.  Do yourself a favor and promise your child the next “snow day” will be a “no work day” for you too.  You will be happy you did.

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Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos

Oh Raissa, what great memories put down on paper and shared with us. I love the idea of waking up to the smell of freshly baked cookies for breakfast. Your details had me building those Snow People with you. What a fun and wonderful mother you are.

Yvonne A. Jones

I enjoyed reading this article. You created beautiful memories with your son, which are never forgotten. Thank you for sharing your snow day with us.

Larry Tyler

I absolutely love this. For a moment I became a child caught in a memory.