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Kids rejoice, mom shudders at Snow Day

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On Monday, the kids were treated to a good old-fashioned Snow Day - the kind of day when the weather turns everything upside-down.

I can't help but think of Snow Days past, like the one in college that saved me from failing that certain music-theory test.

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"Saved by the blizzard - yes!" screamed my roommates and I, high-fives all around, as we heard the announcement of no classes. By noon, the bad weather had passed and everyone was running around campus in shorts having snowball fights.

These days, I'm a bit more conflicted about weather-related school closings. The kids live for these days, and there is something cozy about having to hole in together. But as a mother who works from home, it's a bit disorienting to have the office thrown topsy-turvy.

Early Sunday night, the calls began to roll in. First one school, then another, announced no classes Monday.

As I listened to the shrieks of joy upstairs, I opened up my to-do list on my computer for the next day, wondering how I could possibly reschedule a whole day of planned obligations.

I'll admit it. I did not mind not waking up early, nor did I bemoan having to forgo the school-morning shuffle, which in our house generally includes a fair amount of frantic, not to mention loud, searches for backpacks, socks and matching shoes.

But every hour since wakeup, I was followed around with the feeling of losing the elusive battle of turning Snow Day into something productive.

Let me paint the scenario. By mid-afternoon I was still in my pajamas, my hair disheveled. Though I often work in comfortable clothes, my attire Monday was not of choice, but lack of time to tend to myself.

All day I walked around with a towel in one hand, a basket of laundry in the other, hoping to keep up with the drips from boots and paws. Just when I thought I had a handle on things, the dog needed to be let out again.

To get anything done, I had to hide away on a spot on my bed. The kids had littered my office floor with Valentine preparations for Thursday, creating a colorful blockade of tape, papers and suckers.

Later, they tackled the snow mountain that has resurfaced in the middle of the cul-de-sac. And after a while, cheeks rosy, toes frozen, they wandered back inside for some hot chocolate to thaw out.

I'm just glad for the package of marshmallows in the cupboard, because we couldn't have gone anywhere if we'd wanted. My husband had to call in the emergency crew just to retrieve him for work.

Despite the inconveniences of Snow Day for dear old Mom, I have found - and have to learn all over again every time it happens - that the best thing to do is just surrender.

No, I wasn't planning on playing Uno until midnight, but when my fourth-grader appeared before me after the no-school announcement with a huge smile on his face, cards in hand, I knew I was doomed.

With the closing of my laptop, my surrender was complete and the games commenced.

As prime manager of our household, there's a list that needs to be carefully adhered to. But there's also a life that needs to be lived, and sometimes, it takes a Snow Day to remind me that the best laid plans are often not the ones that make the most impact in the long run.

Maybe Snow Days don't turn the day upside-down after all, but right-side up.

Salonen, a mother of five, is a regular SheSays contributor. Readers can reach her at roxanebsalonen@gmail.com.

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