I feel like the guy from my kid’s school district calls a lot.
You know the guy. There’s a chance he might be the mayor or something. I don’t know. I just know he’s a recording who usually starts with, “Good evening, families. Due to the inclement weather…” Then he closes school for inclement weather.
Although, sometimes he doesn’t close school. Instead he calls to say there is school.
Still other days, he is calling to tell me that they have school but it’s distance learning or that they aren’t doing distance learning due to the ol’ inclement weather or that the district is aware of a threatening TikTok video or a bunch of other things.
The point is, he calls a lot.
No one called me when I was a kid. I don’t even know who would? The office? The nurse? Vito? (He was our custodian) No. Nothing. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, when did the schools become so user-friendly? I remember spending my mornings glued to a rotating news ticker on News 12 Long Island, just waiting for the name of my school to scroll past. It was like horse raising for a kid.
When it did show on the screen, I cheered. Although, to be honest, I don’t remember it ever scrolling past.
I do remember watching many times only to see as it jump from Levittown to Lynrbook, passing snowy Lindenhurst as it did. I’d start to convince myself that I don’t know alphabetical order, which would have been an even greater reason to go to school. But once I begrudgingly accepted that ABC order goes in ABC order, I’d move on to the final act of desperate thinking. School could still close. I was still 15 minutes to the bell and there was still time…
Then, I would peer outside and watch kids already walking down the street to the school that was definitely open. I hated those kids.
You know how you found out school closed if you didn’t have a TV? You went there. I can definitely remember going to a closed school, more than once I think, only to find out it was closed for snow. What kind of awful system is that?
The only reason it didn’t happen more often was because school never closed. We went to school in so much snow that I remember wearing snow pants. Snow pants! Kids had giant rubber overshoes all drying out in the back cubbies with miles of snow pants, strewn about the floor. There would be dirt puddles all around our dripping accessories and you just prayed that your scarf didn’t hang down into any of them.
Who wears snow pants anymore? I feel like I imagined them. How prevalent was snow in my life when I was a kid? I’ll tell you how much – I remember being excited about my new Freazy Freakies. They were puffy gloves that revealed an image when they got cold. I remember being excited about gloves. I can’t remember the last time wore a glove. What type of frozen tundra did I grow up in?
So, yeah. I can’t help but feel a bit annoyed when the Good Evening, Families Man calls up with a recorded warning that the news said it might snow, so we should all just take a day for it. What? It hasn’t even snowed yet and you’re closing?!
Yup. This leads to a few hours of muttering under my breath about how “it probably won’t even snow” and that it’s not fair that we didn’t get snow days when I was a yougin. Then I go over the whole snow pants rant in my head again. It’s a big vicious cycle.
The next day, I get up to find snow so high that it’s piled up past the bottom of my door. If I open it, the snow topples over in the door step, making it impossible to close the door. So I try to wipe it up, but end up wiping it in and now it’s icy and the door totally won’t close.
Still. Whatever. They closed before they even knew. There wasn’t one snowflake, so to speak. Yet here they were, closing the school. I don’t care if we got blanketed in in the stuff. They could have waited and decided then. I sip my coffee and peer out the window.
I see the street and the path to the car. I see blocked intersections and a white cascading scene that blurs road from yard.
And I walk away, happy that they closed school.