Snow Day or Let's-Go-to-the-Mall-Day?

When you look out your window to the bus stop and see this, you might have a snow day.
We’ve got ourselves a snow day here in Lexington. Which means the kids are home, hogging the computer, eating all the good snacks that I had hidden away for weekday afternoons, watching sports on TV and needing rides to the mall.  Meanwhile, it’s 42 degrees outside, the roads are completely clear of snow and I’m thinking of doing a little gardening.

I’m not complaining. I really do love when the kids are home. And I certainly wouldn’t want school bus drivers on the roads during Lexington’s “IT-SNOWED-LAST-NIGHT-ARGHKKKK panic,” which grips the city when the sky turns whitish and precipitaty. 

Snow days are a seasonal reminder of how lame a mom I am.  By not looking at the school closing list carefully enough, waking my kids up, getting them in the car and driving all the way to school before the empty parking lot tips us off that everyone else is still in bed, and rightly so, I get my picture on the Worst Moms Web Site. Right up there with the lady who had an affair with her kid’s teacher, the mom who gave her toddler a margarita for vitamin C when he had a cold, and the beast who turned off her baby monitor during  Judge Judy.

While the snow day scenario shows how inept I am, it also proves how kind and understanding my kids are. Neither my son nor my daughter had a snide thing to say, during the short ride back home.  When I commented on that, my daughter said, “Well, we’re just glad there’s no school.” The look on her face, though, told me they were tucking this away for future ammunition.

I did this more to my oldest son than to anyone. When we first moved to Sparta, New Jersey, he had to be at the high school almost an hour before the other two kids had to get the bus to the elementary and middle schools. A typical winter day in northern New Jersey: I get up first, make coffee, slip on the closest boots/flipflops/whatever and go out and get the paper, pack lunches, feed the dog, start Round 1 of 7-8 wakeup calls to the kids, open the blinds, say a prayer that there’s milk and I don’t have to run into the Stop N Rob in my sweats and Gumby hair.

You’ll notice I did not say, “ . . . turn on the TV to see the school closings.”  Did you hear me say we lived in northern New Jersey?  As in, mountains, snow, a mean fleet of salt trucks, emergency generators, an SUV in every driveway and three shovels and a snowboard in every garage.

Yet, several times each winter we would pull up to the high school and see an empty parking lot. 

“Did you –“ my son would start, after the pause and a long sigh.

“No! No, I did NOT watch TV this morning! Why would I?  Why would there be no school? For god’s sake, there’s barely a dusting and only an inch expected by tonight. What is going on in the public school system these days when a school bus carrying overweight American children three to a seat, overloaded backpacks, and brass band instruments can’t pull enough weight to keep from sliding onto the berm?”

I wanted to write a letter to the superintendent suggesting he strap those brats in, get some chains and kitty litter and go for it.

I look forward to living in south Florida, a place where, if there’s snow on the ground, it’s fairly certain there’s an apocalypse or at least an alien weather-related intervention of some type, and you won’t have to rely on second-rate local newscasters to tell you there’s no school that day.

Oh sure, they’ll come up with some lame excuse that hurricanes, tropical storms and tsunami-like waves should keep kids home from school. Wimps.