Remember when a snowstorm had to be more than 10 inches to qualify as an event? Remember when your biggest problem was purloining a limp carrot from the vegetable drawer to use for the snowman’s nose? Remember when you had to dress up like the Michelin tire man to play outdoors way longer than you really wanted to? Those were the days and they were far less complicated than today.
These days if the clouds gather we have to hear about for weeks, read about it on the internet, tweet it to our friends and family, and post pictures of it on Facebook.
There was no weather channel when I was growing up. All I wanted to do on a snow day was watch a little more Mr. Green Jeans and the Dancing Bear on Captain Kangaroo. Like today, I reveled in wearing my pajamas a little longer than usual and I probably helped myself to an extra bowl of Cheerios – and they weren’t covered in chemical-tasting honey goodness back then.
Kids today know it’s going to snow three weeks before it arrives. Their parents are consulting with “childcare providers” about where they’ll spend the proposed snow day. They are gathering weather facts from their iPhones, tracking the storm as it moves from Kansas to Ohio to New Jersey, becoming a little more neurotic with each passing time zone.
Finally, the “storm” arrives and it’s dwindled to a dusting and the poor kid is going to school just like every other day. Meanwhile, his digestion, not to mention his psyche, has been tampered with for days while he watched his parents and his friend’s parents make plans for the big “weather event.” He lay awake nights wondering just what type of preparations had to be made, thinking his parents were some kind Svengalis to pull off such intricate plans. He wondered if the bigger kids at the “childcare provider” center would pick on him like they did during the last snow day. And all for nothing.
I think maybe it was better for all of us when we woke up and ran to the window, pulling the curtains back to behold six inches of feathery snow. And we looked at it with nothing other than sheer delight. I sure do miss Mr. Green Jeans.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
- Robert Frost