The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 30, 2014

Snow days

— If you wanted to chart a difference in generational perception, one has to go no further than to consider the implications of a “snow day.”

For those 18-and-under in age, an unexpected day off from school is one of life’s little treasures, and they no doubt wait eagerly for the late-afternoon or evening text from school officials to parents’ cell phones, notifying them that school has been canceled.

For adults, weather bad enough to shut down schools for a day is somewhat less joyous. Once you reach the age of having a job and responsibilities, bad weather just means more hurdles to overcome to get through the day.

Along with age come responsibilities, and disruptions like snow days merely add problems to be endured, not an unplanned day off to be savored.

As a parent with school-age children, one seems to get the worst of both of those worlds. Jobs, chores and responsibilities remain, but added to those is the problem of child care when schools shut down.

As we reported Wednesday, most parents have taken the extra headache with surprisingly good grace.

Such are the requirements of being a parent, and, in some cases, a grandparent.

So adults and kids have descended on libraries, play areas and other venues to work off some of the kids’ energy after being cut off by the frigid temperatures from playing outside.

Yet we found there are some options for activity, and even some potential child-care resources at the YMCA or at Stepping Stone Academy in Beaver.

Even some stay-at-home moms were feeling the pressure of cabin fever, with Freedom Ministries Pastor Philip Farrington and his wife, Candace, telling us their kids were enjoying a change of pace at the Jump Zone play area.

“It’s a challenge in this area to find things for families to do,” the reverend said.

But in our mind the pastor has the situation entirely in perspective.

“Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy any time you have off with your kids. There will come a day when you don’t have this time together. Turn it into a blessing and not a curse.”

That may not be Gospel, even coming from a pastor, but we think it’s awfully good advice.

When he puts it like that, it just might convince us how sweet snow days can be.