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Snow days just aren't the same

Lessons learned, and things to be thankful for in the brutal cold

As bus cancellations were being announced on Sunday afternoon, in preparation for a very cold Monday morning, I started debating in my mind what I would do with my own kids.

Working from home is generally easier with kids in school. While they're old enough to fend for themselves, they can be loud and generally make the most noise and ask the most questions when you're trying to concentrate on something and get a job done.

Mondays are also deadline days. The newspaper has to be done by a certain time, and it takes some extra concentration and efficient juggling on Monday mornings to get things done. So, when I heard buses would be cancelled, I worked on convincing myself that -40C wasn't really that bad, and I could still get my kids to school.

So, I was thankful when my 13-year-old admitted he would actually prefer to go to school, despite the cold weather. That was on Sunday night. But, like any parent of a 13-year-old knows, teenagers are irrational at times and change their minds for no reason at all.

When he woke up and realized it was in fact brutally cold outside, he decided maybe going to school wasn't so fun after all. But, I brought down the hammer and we did it. We packed into the cold vehicle and went to town.

Monday mornings can be tough. And adding in a windchill of -47C doesn't make it any easier. I'm thankful for technology, and the ability to plug my vehicle in so it starts on brutally cold mornings. I'm thankful for command start throughout the winter months, along with heated seats and heated steering wheels. 

I'm thankful that despite some grumbling, my kids do have a newfound appreciation for school after all the ups and downs that have come along with the pandemic over the past 11 months. Snow days just don't seem as exciting when you live in a state of unknown. You don't take days at school with friends for granted - even when it's -40C.

Sitting at a computer to learn math and science and French and even gym class isn't so easy - so heading to school for the simple fact of being at school now has a new meaning. 

We've learned a lot over the past 11 months as a family. We've learned to rely on each other and enjoy each other. We've learned to give each other space when it is needed. And, we've learned that snow days (or extreme cold days) aren't so exciting when you've already spent countless days at home, staring at the same faces.