Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson’s ‘snow day’ letter included a heartfelt message to the community
Ask any parent with grown-up kids, and they’ll tell you the sweet, tender years of childhood simply do not last long enough. And part of any great childhood (at least in cool-weather states) is a good snow day. With many schools across the U.S. operating virtually, the whole “snow day” thing could easily have been a rite of passage of school years past. But not for Jefferson County Schools in West Virginia, because they’re off today.
Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson sent a letter home to parents Tuesday night in preparation for the huge snowstorm currently unfolding in the Northeast. Despite the fact that Jefferson County Schools are all virtual right now, Gibson believes the school community is still entitled to a good, old-fashioned snow day. The letter will undoubtedly bring you to tears, so be prepared.
“For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy,” she writes. “It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life.”
She explained that the past year has been hard on many throughout the area. Gibson wanted to provide one day where students, and their families, can enjoy one special day of making happy snow-filled memories in a year without the opportunity to make many new memories.
“It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss,” the letter continues. “For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.”
Do you need a tissue yet? Because WHEW.
She’s totally right, though. Childhood is fleeting, and our kids lost significant chunks of theirs this year. And while they’ll all undoubtedly become more resilient, empathetic human beings because of it — it’s still hard. So hard. We’ve got to take our joys when they come, no matter how big or small.
The life lesson in this letter is beneficial for students, parents, and anyone and everyone who needs to hear it.
“So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they’ll outgrow by next year and read books you’ve wanted to lose yourself in but haven’t had the time,” Gibson concludes. “We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman.”