The snow days of my childhood were idyllic. Just like Peter, the little boy in one of my favorite books, Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, my brother and I, bundled up in our snowsuits, boots, and mittens, would go outside to play in the newly fallen snow and make snow angels. We would do this over and over, until we were soaking wet and shivering. My mom would get us dry and warmed up with hot soup and a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies. What could be more perfect? The day off from school.
Last week’s Nor’easter brought 55-mile-an-hour winds that rattled my windows and changed the direction of the snow so it appeared to be falling horizontally. But the City of Boston generally does a good job of snow removal. And New Englanders don’t scare easily when it comes to extreme weather, until both the mayor and the governor tell everyone to stay home. And just like that, children and grown-ups alike were given a gift – a most uncommon occurrence – a snow day.
But there are no real snow days anymore. At least not the care-free, snow angel, chocolate chip cookie snow days I remember. WiFi and laptops make it not only possible but mandatory for us to work remotely from home. Maybe I was cozy and comfy in a pair of yoga pants, sweatshirt, and spa socks, as the barrage of emails came as fast and furious as the snow. With my landline ringing and my cell phone humming, I didn’t even take a lunch break until 3 in the afternoon. I was so focused on the work at hand, I didn’t realize the snow had let up. As I watched from my living room window, neighbors shoveled out, walked their dogs, and played with their children. I’d missed it all. My snow day was over before it ever began.