The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 3, 2013

Mike Pound: Sometimes, a snow day is needed

By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Our 15-year-old daughter Emma wants a snow day, and I don’t understand why.

Me: “Why in the world do you want it to snow?”

Emma: “Duh! So I don’t have to go to school.”

Me: “But if it snows, someone has to shovel the sidewalk and the driveway.”

Emma: “Have fun with that.”

Actually, I can see why Emma wants a snow day. And it would be nice, I suppose, for our family to have a cozy afternoon sitting in front of our fireplace spending quality time with each other. That is, if your definition of quality time is having your wife talk on the phone and your daughter text while you watch the fourth repeat of “SportsCenter” on ESPN.

A Norman Rockwell moment is what it would be.

Even my wife, who is no fan of snow and cold weather, agrees that we need a snow day.

Me: “I just don’t think you should wish for something like a snow day.”

Wife: “What are you talking about? You’re whole life is one big snow day.”

Me: “Yeah, but I don’t wish for it. It just happens.”

Emma actually enjoys school and my wife enjoys her job, but they both tell me that it has been two years since their last snow day. They tell me that it’s not normal to go three years without a snow day.

“We need a break,” they say.

It snowed a bit on Thursday, and when I picked Emma up at the high school the first thing she asked was if I thought she would have school on Friday.

“Yes,” I said.

It was not the answer Emma was looking for.

“Darn! I wanted a snow day.”

I reminded Emma that in years past when she did have some snow days, the school year was extended into late May.

“That’s OK,” Emma said.

When you’re in school, the threat of having to pay the school district back a day in May for a day off in February isn’t much of a threat. Everyone knows that a day off from school in February is actually worth three extra school days in May. See, school days in February are hard. Teachers are serious and summer seems like it will never arrive. Schools days in May are easy. Teachers, for the most part, are easing up and summer is nigh.

The problem with snow days is that — like potato chips and chicken wings — one is never enough.

In past years when Emma had a snow day she would start asking me at about 3 p.m. if I thought she would have school the next day. I would always say the same thing: “Yes.”

I didn’t say that to be mean; I did it so Emma wouldn’t build up false hopes. OK, maybe I did it to be a little bit mean, but I also figured if I said “no” it would make things worse for Emma if I were wrong.

At 4 p.m. on past snow days, Emma would start watching for the school closings on TV desperately hoping to learn that she wouldn’t have school the next day. When word finally came that she didn’t have school the next day Emma would be ecstatic.

Until 3 p.m. the next day.

“Do you think I’ll have school tomorrow?” Emma would ask.

“Yes,” I would say.

For Emma the worst thing that could happen would be to get a snowstorm on a Saturday. As far as Emma is concerned, Saturday snow is just wasted snow.

I’m writing this on Friday afternoon and, a few minutes ago, I checked the National Weather Service forecast. It doesn’t appear there is much chance for snow next week. Emma won’t be happy about that, but what do I care?

My whole life is one big snow day.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.