Monday, February 28, 2005

Snow Day! Snow Day!

It's funny being on campus in the morning, when a huge snowstorm is predicted for the afternoon. Everybody is walking on eggshells, hoping to get The Call.

Having grown up in much snowier territory than I live in now, I'm still a little surprised at the threshold for a snow day here. Still, traffic being what it is, I'll happily take it.

Waiting to hear about a snow day has been a hallowed ritual since I was five years old. It still is. As The Boy approaches public school age (he starts the four-year old program in September. September!), listening to the radio in the morning will become a family ritual.

Nothing bonds a family (or a campus) like the delicious anticipation of slacking. People in Southern climes miss out on the ritual. You learn where your school falls in the alphabetical listing, and your pulse quickens as the announcer approaches the relevant letter. You learn just how many school districts actually exist out there. You learn just how many Catholic schools start with the word "our."

As snow day veterans can tell you, one of the rules is that you have to bake. (I don't make the rules, I just go with them.) Dad shovels, Mom bakes, the kids (if they're old enough) frolic in the snow and come in to watch cartoons. (Lest this seem sexist, I regularly offer to trade with The Wife. She smiles and refuses.) The Boy likes to try to help me shovel, which is both sweet and really awkward. He has a way of getting underfoot anyway; combine that with me swinging a large, heavy shovel, and bad things could happen. The choreography becomes fairly elaborate, as he moves unpredictably and I try to dump snow without injuring either The Boy or my back.

Every time the plow comes by and pushes another ridge of heavy, wet snow onto the foot of the driveway, I come to appreciate the myth of Sisyphus just a little bit more.

Buying a snowblower would constitute admitting defeat. That said, I'll probably break down and do it one of these years. Eventually.

Back to rescheduling meetings. If all goes according to plan, later today I'll be on the couch with The Boy, watching "Totally Spies" on the cartoon network. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon...