When we were children, when the snow began to fall in earnest, many of us waited with bated breath, fingers crossed, for the news of the school closings. Snow days were a special treat; an unexpected vacation, a chance to trade books and chalkboards for sleds and snowball fights.
Over the past year, in light of escalating stress from the pandemic and its far-reaching consequences, it was sometimes hard not to lose sight of the simple joys in life, but in Jefferson County, West Virginia, the superintendent Bondy scholar Shay Gibson never lost focus on the bigger picture and what really matters.
When a major snowstorm was forecast for his district, Gibson took the initiative to close schools, but he also used the moment to remind his community that nurturing the spirit is sometimes as important as nurturing the intellect.
The carpe diem ad he posted on Facebook, reminding parents to just enjoy this time out of time to let their kids be just kids, quickly gained popularity, racking up around 17,000 shares in just a few days:
– Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) December 15, 2020
“For generations, families have welcomed the first snow day of the year. It is a moment of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to create some memories with your family that you will keep for life. “
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… It has been a year of seemingly endless losses and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For a moment, we can all put aside worrying about making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is something our children will not lose this year.
So please enjoy a day of sledding, hot chocolate, and cozy bonfires. Take pictures of your children in snow hats that will be too small for them next year and read books that you have wanted to get lost in, but haven’t had the time. We will get back to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow, go build a snowman. “
Snowstorms come and go, but creating memories with our loved ones can last a lifetime. Now, perhaps more than ever, when we are fortunate enough to have the unexpected opportunity to write a joyous chapter in our family history books, we must welcome it with open hearts.
Think of it as a supply for the future.
Cherished memories of the simple shared pleasures we forge today may well offer strength and comfort in difficult times and ultimately be what sustains us and gives us hope for brighter days ahead.
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