As my family sits down to have dinner together, we discuss the possibilities of a snow day the next day. Suddenly, the phone rings. Since we are enjoying a meal, we let it go to voicemail. A message explains that tomorrow will be a snow day. Following the meal, I grab my flip phone and text my friends, ecstatic about the day off. I make plans and ask my parents if they can drive me to a friend’s for a sleepover, a tradition between my close friends and I every snow day ever since we were little. Since the blizzard has not begun, my mom drives me over and that night, my friends and I have a movie marathon.
In the morning, we sleep in, not waking up until 11:00 a.m., when the smell of homemade waffles wafts down to the basement where we slept. After springing from our sleeping bags, we skip over to the windows, elated to see the fresh snow covering the grass and trees. The sun is shining and the snow is glistening, creating the perfect scene for a snow day. A delicious breakfast is prepared for us; our favorite waffles with berries and whipped cream. After eating, we get ready for the best part of the day and run outside.
We bundle up with pants, sweatshirts, jackets, hats, gloves and snow boots and head out. We bring with us our sleds and snowman decorations, preparing for the various snow activities we plan to do. First, we go sledding, competing to make the best and most fun trail. We go down face first, on our backs, and every which way that could make it more extreme to our twelve-year-old selves. Then, we sprint back up the hill, out of breath, ready to go down again despite how cold our hands and feet feel. Next, we build a snowman which is cut short by a snowball fight and proceeded by snow angels. It’s only when we realize how cold we are that we head back inside for some hot chocolate to warm ourselves up. Now that the roads have improved, to our dismay, our parents pick us up and we return to our own houses. When I get home, I spend the rest of the night by the fireplace with my family. I go to bed at 9:30 to get sleep for another day in the 6th grade.
I am in the middle of studying for an enormous AP Statistics exam that will determine my grade for the term. I had been praying for a snow day and sneaking glances at my phone hoping for a sign that my mentally straining studying could end. Suddenly, I receive texts from my friends notifying me that a snow day has been announced. I immediately close my statistics textbook with a smile on my face, get in bed, and turn on Netflix, where I am rewatching Gossip Girl. However, I know that tomorrow will not be like the snow days from when I was younger, and I feel a slight pang of bitterness knowing I won’t wake up to the smell of waffles and sleeping bags strewn across the floor. While I want to be excited, a snow day just means that I will be stuck at home all day finishing up whatever I had been procrastinating the night before. I try to get to bed at a decent hour, knowing the work I have to face in the morning will not be like the work of making the perfect sledding trail.
I wake up early and make myself eggs and toast. After brewing myself a coffee, I pull out my laptop and start my George Washington University supplements. Looking outside, I long to be a little kid again. But instead, I’m stuck in my room applying for college. Although I take some breaks and hang out with my family, eat meals, and watch some TV, the majority of my day is spent working on the application and studying for the Statistics exam. As the night gets later, I remember that I have a couple assignments due the next day and the rest of the night is filled with me working on these. However, once I’m done, I find myself sitting at the fire place with my family enjoying the end of the day off.
From sixth grade to senior year, one thing about my snow days has always stayed the same; sitting by the fireplace as the night comes to an end. It always reminds me of the importance of family and traditions even when other things in your life change, no matter how small the tradition may be. As I get even older, I know my snow days will change even more and hope that over the years and wherever I end up, I can keep this tradition close to my heart. Through all of my snow days, I have learned that even though part of these days can be busy, whether it is playing in the snow or applying for college, they also allow my family and friends to come together, with a calming sense of urgency to stay right where we are.