Who’s the Snow Day Caller?

At 5 o’clock the other morning, I received the email that School District 11 would be on a two hour delay due to inclement  weather. Ahhhh…yes. I turned off my alarm, cozied back in and returned to my slumber. Then, at a little after 6 I woke up again and noticed that my phone was flashing a new email notification. I held my breath a moment before opening my new message, and there it was my friends, the gem of them all…the SNOW DAY NOTIFICATION!!!

Due to a change in the windchill factor at 6 am, all D-11 schools will be CLOSED today, Feb. 5. 

Oh fantastic! Even better! The kids tip-toed into our room after that, asked if school was on a delay and if they could go watch their super hero cartoons. They shouted in a joyful whisper upon hearing that there was, in fact, no school. Then they turned and flitted out of the room.

And, yet again, as I exhaled a deep breath of contentment,  I cozied back in and returned to sleep. 

Oh my, snow days are the best. They’re like an unexpected gift. One that we kind of anticipate all through the night prior, but don’t know if it’ll happen until the 11th hour. Oh ok, well, maybe more accurately the fifth or sixth hour…

As we were sitting and eating pancakes over breakfast that same morning, I noticed in the newspaper a very small paragraph explaining how snow days are called across the nation. For instance, kids in Alaska must have at least 24 inches of snow piled around them before a snow day is called; If you live in the mountains of Colorado, same thing. If you live along the front range of Colorado, like we do, the schools require six to 12 inches of snow to call it. 

And actually, if you live in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, any amount of snow results in a snow day. Fascinating!

I thought it would be fun to read these stats to my boys and when I did, they began brainstorming how they think a snow day is called here in our neck of the woods. Like how it actually all happens. Who’s the guy that makes the final call and where is he?

Logan says that the Principal of District 11 (You know, the man who’s in charge of the whole district…the one who makes all the decisions) is the one who calls a snow day. I told Logan the word he might be looking for was Superintendent. But, whoever the guy is, Logan says he lives in a big, white building three miles east of the Chapel Hills Mall, its the building with a hexagon on top of it. (This is of Logan’s imagination, by the way. There isn’t a building like that, at least that we’re aware of!)  😉 The man wears black jeans with a white coat and has messy tufts of gray hair sticking out from the sides of his otherwise bald head. He watches a big television that informs him of the weather conditions. In addition to the television, he goes outside to measure the snow depth with a ruler to see if there is enough for a snow day to occur. The snow needs to measure at least three inches for the day to be called off, but the temperature doesn’t matter, Logan says. 

Logical Logan
Logical Logan

Once the man decides that it aught to be a snow day, he checks with the school board members and other school principals. “Hey! I’m going to call it a snow day, today!” He tells the rest.”What do you think?” The others say, “yes” and then they call it. However, if the others say, “No,” then it isn’t a snow day, but if the District Principal (read: Superintendent) says he really feels strongly about having a snow day, then he checks with them again until they all agree with him. How democratic!

Eli is a believer that God has a greater hand in the calling of a snow day. “God makes the snow when he thinks he wants it to snow,” Eli says. “Snow just appears in the clouds.”

All knowing Eli
All knowing Eli

But when the snow does fall, it is Mr. Marin, my boys’ school principal who makes the final decision. Eli says he looks like an old man with glasses. (For the record, he doesn’t, but that’s how my boy sees him anyway!) Early in the morning, Mr. Marin goes to the school and into a classroom with a special window. He looks outside and makes the decision that it will be a snow day. Then, he puts up a gate all around the perimeter of the school so that when parents drive up with their children, they will realize that school has been cancelled, then turn around and drive home.

It all reminds me of the man behind the curtain, as it were. The things we often don’t place much thought into because it just happens and send me my snow day notification email so i can go back to sleep already! I admit, I don’t know who it is that makes our snow days official, either. I can recall when I was a young girl thinking that the traffic lights were manned by small people who fit right inside the traffic pole. They must have had peek-holes and could watch the cars and when it seemed like the right time, then they would change the light to red…or then green.

As children, I think we came up with whatever scenario made the most sense to us. That is what my boys did with the details of the snow day.  And, without previous knowledge of mechanics or technology when I was young, why wouldn’t a small person fit snugly inside the pole on each and every intersection corner and control traffic lights? It’s what made the most logical sense to me. 

Haha! But I also thought I would be recruited by the circus for knowing how to ride my bike with no hands! 

Moving on.

The point is this. I love what comes out of the minds of my children. They have no filters or fears of their ideas being rejected. Sometimes it seems like what’s imagined in their young brains is far more brilliant than what’s real. These are the best years, while my kids are still in their youth. They help my mind to stay young. They make me want to use my imagination and tell stories and dream beyond the cookie cutter shape and color outside the lines.  But what happens when they grow up? Can’t the Principal of the School District still live in the big, white hexagon-topped building east of the mall? Maybe that is where we’ll always remember him. Just like the small people inside the pole who change my traffic light to green! 

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