As a kid, I remember praying for school delays and cancellations. It meant sleeping in and it increased the possibility for sledding on the freshly fallen snow. Looking back, it seemed like those days were few and far between. School only got cancelled if there was enough snow to travel only by snow mobile or sled dogs…..which meant NEVER!
Now, I watch my own kids get excited about cancellations and delays. I watch as the school systems scroll across the bottom of the screen, and watch my phone closely for the text….both of which tell me of the delay. Honestly, I'm just as excited as the kids to hear that school is cancelled. It means I get to sleep in too…. It means I don't have to fight to get them ready….It means NO HOMEWORK!
Even though I get excited, I can completely understand why many parents do not cheer along with their children. People have to work and find babysitters, or they loose money from staying home…..AND, Even though I have the luxury of staying home, I do have to agree that it does seem as though they cancel or delay school, for little of nothing these days!
While accumulating snow is the most common reason for delays, cold temperatures come in at a close second. If it is going to be 5 degrees or less, school systems start to contemplate whether they should postpone school for two hours. I always find this odd. The difference in getting on the school bus at 8:00 vs 10:00 is not that variable. Instead of 2 below, it may be 2 above. I certainly don't think that's a heat wave and I don't think the children are any safer, at the later hour.
Obviously, as time has gone on, we have become more protective of our children. The bus stops at your house, or within a block from your house. We wait in cars with our children until the bus gets there, or we stand there freezing our baguettes off at the corner with them. We load them with scarves, hats, gloves, ski masks, boots, goggles……anything so they don't get frostbite, or get lost in the drifting snow. We worry that they will be taken off the street corner, by some strange man in an unmarked utility van, and we worry that the school bully will beat our child's ass, if we aren't there to protect them. Some mothers will still wipe their teenage child's nose, if the child demands it…
I will probably crush some fingers and toes here….but this is becoming ridiculous!
When we were children, we had to go to school when it was cold. If you lost your hat and gloves, you had to either find some thermal unmatched socks to put on your hands, or actually utilize your pockets! If you were running late, you had to run the three or four blocks to the bus stop, sometimes with soaking wet hair that would become ice crystals by the time you made it. If you missed the bus, you had to walk in the 2 degree weather, because your mom was not driving you! The bus was frequently late, meaning you actually had to jog in place or huddle in a circle to get warm.
I remember on some days hoping a nice man with an unmarked mini van would pull up offering a ride. He wouldn't even have had to offer candy, just a pair of gloves, some heat, and a warm sandwich if he had it to spare!…..AND if we had an ass beating coming, our moms were not saving us from them. It was a “fight your own battle” kind of theme back then. Most of us lived through it, and if we didn't, we have good stories to tell our counselors.
I don't even want to go into the school closures for fog! Geesh! Leave early….drive slow!
I'm not saying we shouldn't keep our children safe, but there have always been strange men that steal children, and the temperatures here have always remained the same, with each passing season. The only thing that has changed is our hovering parenting, and our need to protect them from even the smallest thing. How will they ever function in this world without us when they get older? Will they ever know how to function in cooler temperatures? Will it be even worse when their own children wait for the bus? There may be a delay for heavy rain, or wind speeds greater than 30 miles per hour. We wouldn't want a tree limb to get them at the curb!
Now, with that being said, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine, and hope that real soon I'm going to get a text, or see our school slowly scroll across the news channel saying….2 hour delay! 🙂
HAPPY WINTER! 🙂