When a foot of snow fell last year, we dug out our sledge from underneath a deflated ball pool and headed straight for the park. Schools were closed, workplaces shut; for those of us lucky enough to be safely trapped in our 'hoods, with nothing to do but lark around in the snow, it was an impromptu Bank Holiday. Smiles all around.
|last year's snow day|
After Austin's pre-school settling-in afternoon was cancelled today, I was inspired by Judith O'Reilly's article on doing a good deed every day to see this year's snow day as a chance to show Austin and Gwen that being thoughtful can be fun. Judith points out that doing good turns often gets in the way of spending time with your children. But I thought up a few philanthropic snow-based children's activities for days like today:
- get in touch with friends to see if any of them still have to make the trek into work. Were their children's schools shut? If so, I could invite their kids round for a playdate. Just don't tell Ofsted it's childcare. It's a snow party, right?
- instead of making a snowman in the back garden, we could go round to the house of an elderly neighbour, and clear a path to their front door. Then we could use the shovelled snow to build a cheery figure outside their house. A snowman signature, if you like.
- brew up some hot chocolate, put it in flasks, and take it to anyone who might appreciate it. I was thinking homeless people, neighbours whose heating had buckled under the strain of freezing weather, postal workers, gritters, builders.....indeed, anyone who might look a bit chilly.
- make fat balls for the birds, to help them keep warm. Then sit there, watching through the window, while the robins, tits and blackbirds feast and make merry.
We didn't do any of these things this afternoon; we managed a quick walk, and that was about it. On the best of days it takes ages to get out the door (see Zoe Armstrong on this), and with three extra layers to haul on over thrashing limbs, daylight was fading fast before we managed to get out. And we were so cold by the time we got back, that we selfishly drank all the hot chocolate to ourselves.
We did make our builders some nice hot soup, though*. And there's always tomorrow. Bring on more snow days!
*astonishing: they were out all day from 8am, in snow and sub-zero temperatures, working on an exposed roof to build our loft conversion.