Oh My, How Snow Days Have Changed

Copyright 2016 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp

Copyright 2016 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp

Oh my, how snow days have changed! When I was a child I still remember praying, before falling asleep, for a snow day. I remember hearing the crackling noise of 84 WHAS radio and the voice of Tony Cruise announcing the schools that would be closed. When I heard “Catholic Schools,” I jumped out of bed, did a little dance, climbed back into bed, snuggled up with my blankets, and drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.

When I woke up with the sunshine spilling through my shades I would have a big breakfast without rushing. Then I would get all bundled up, put bread bags over my socks, and stick my feet down in those tall black rubber boots and I was out the door to find my friends and play in the snow until I could no longer feel my toes. We would play for hours, come inside, warm up, and then go back out again. We built snowmen, had snow ball fights, went sledding, and just explored the beauty of the fallen snow through the fields near my house. We did not have a care in the world.

Now, my children pray for snow with me the night before a possible snow day. They sleep with a spoon under their pillows, with their pajamas on backwards and flush an ice cube down the toilet, in hopes that there will be a snow day! In the morning at about 5:30 all of our phones go off: our home phone, my cell phone, my husband’s cell phone, our emails and our texts. They are all on one call systems to alert us that school has been cancelled for all 4 of the Catholic Schools my children attend and the one where I teach. I go to each of my children tell them it’s a snow day, to turn off their alarm and to go back to sleep.

We wake up and I make them a big, hot breakfast but instead of going out to play in the snow they turn on their computers, iPad, and tablets. They check in with their teachers for their online day of school. They have anywhere from 1.5 hours to 6 hours of work to do. They do this so it can count as an instructional day of school, so the day will not have to be made up at the end of the school year. They do this because our technology is so advanced that we can do this.

After a few hours of learning we have lunch and then I make them stop the madness, get them ready, and I take them to a neighborhood hill to go sledding. We also help with shoveling some driveways and come home to some hot soup or, like I did yesterday, a taco bar. Then after dinner they all have to go back to their computers and try to finish their online work.

Snow days are not the break, freedom, and experience of pure joy they once were when I was a kid. I think it is important for a kid to get to be a kid but I also understand that technology also tends to dominate our lives. However, because I was able to have that experience I make sure that my children get a taste of it, no matter what!

Copyright 2016 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp


About Author

Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.


  1. I am impressed by your schools’ ability to continue the students’ education despite snow days. I guess that in a very snow-prone area this would be a necessity. We don’t get much snow, and my kids have done all that bit with the backward pajamas, flushed ice cubes and pilfered silverware clanking down out of a bed in the middle of the night…I do miss the early-morning listening to the news radio station for the school’s special code. Oh, the anticipation! Those Emergency Broadcast System calls are most convenient but they do take some of the fun out of the process.

  2. Unfortunately, it’s not a taste, it’s a crumb . . . What happened?

    Thank you for resurrecting sweet memories from my childhood. The summer is like this as well. My husband and I talk all the time about how we used to play outside with our friends ALL day ~ not just an hour. We ate lunch at whatever house we were closest to at noon. Only when the street lights came on were we to come home. Some days we didn’t see our parents for 8 hours or more.

    PS Our kids don’t really know what snow is, either. I don’t think we have the storms we used to have when we were little. Schools are closed for a flake or two now-a-days. . . .

  3. I suppose I just don’t understand. You chose to have these type of days for your children. You could do things differently. You don’t have to allow your lives to be determined by technology. You obviously made the decision to enroll your kids in these types of schools- and to teach in one yourself as well. If you changed your priorities, you would change their lives.

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