Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Snow Queen

At 3:30 a.m., I awoke to hear the plows rolling down my street. The second of January's gnarly snowstorms had hit New York City hard the previous day and, true to form, I had gone to bed not knowing if there would be school the following day. I prayed the verdict would be "yes."

I dialed 311 and heard the recorded "school is scheduled to be open today." (It turned out the new schools chancellor had called it at 11:30 p.m., but I had crashed at 9.) Then, for the next hour, I followed the debate raging on Facebook: Should school be open? Are you sending your kids? Why can't the Board of Ed cancel school early, like everyone else? Why are you sending your kids? (Implied: What kind of mother are you to send your kids out into this awful storm?)

I was relieved to drift off until my alarm rang at 5:50. I called the bus company to be sure the yellow fleet was running--it was. I thought of keeping my son home. What if the roads were slippery? But I managed to quickly dismiss the thought. After all, the buses were up and at 'em, and so was school. I know I might sound cold, so trust me when I say I'd never send my baby out into what I feared to be a dangerous situation. And it seemed clear we didn't have that. Heck, we didn't have the foot they'd predicted, either.

Here's the thing: As I see it, the world is divided into three kinds of moms, with a sprinkling of dads in the mix. On the one hand, you have the 21st century version of the Saturday Evening Post mother who celebrates a snow day as a chance to bond with her children, making memories filled with baking, sledding and hot cocoa.

Then there's the 21st century mom who figures it's no biggie if her kid stays home; he'll keep himself occupied with Minecraft and Harry Potter all day.

Then there's the panicked mom.

Guess which group I belong to?

Even at 10, my son requires my constant engagement. If I go to the bathroom, he asks me where I'm going. (It's an far could I go?) I might as well be living with a retired husband.

Not only that, I had just survived a three-day weekend. A three-day weekend, I tell you. It was far too soon for another day with my darling hanging around when I had work to get done...and a blog to write!

And so if school says yes, I say yes. I went even further. When my friend Judy messaged me, "Did you send the boy to school this morning? I'm going through all kinds of Jewish angst about how selfish I could be to let mine go," I told her it was OK, our kids would be fine. And yes, we would be, too.

I'm just glad I missed the email from school saying that many of the teachers wouldn't be making it in today, but not to worry, there was enough staff to handle things. It might have given me pause, if only for a moment. And they did handle things. And the bus delivered M to school and back home again just fine.

Don't get me wrong, I love my son. I just happen to hate snow days.

Call me the Wicked Witch of the South Slope.

That's how this mom rolls.

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