Right on cue, the text came in at 3:00 p.m. DD2, freshly home from school, asked the big question, “Do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?” My children continue to believe that I am either psychic or lying about the fact that I have little say in whether a much-coveted snow day comes to fruition.
Here’s the drill. We all watch the news and listen to the predictions of the coming “snowpocalypse.” Then, unless the road conditions deteriorate substantially in time for the ten o’clock news and an early closure decision, we all go to bed. At our house, I pray for low snow accumulations while my kids in turn petition for a good layer of ice followed by lots of fluffy white stuff. Ironically, this time I’m hoping for good weather so that I can go to school. My next doctoral class starts tomorrow night, and a cancellation typically means some sort of makeup assignment as well as the hassle of trying to reschedule a class in our condensed schedule.
While we dream of our respective best case scenarios, the beleaguered transportation director takes a bus out around 4:00 a.m. to test out bridges and hills around the district. He talks to transportation people in nearby districts to find out their plans. Then, in a step that makes me thankful transportation falls nowhere in my job description, he then calls my colleague, the other assistant superintendent, and reports his findings. I learn of this decision in one of two ways. If the children get their wish, I awake to a ringing phone sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. I stumble to the kitchen and call the principals who report to me. We activate the notification system. Alternatively, my alarm rings as usual, and I awake to three very disappointed children.
Either way, I go to work, granted with the added bonus of a jeans day if the district calls off school. A combination of my kids ages and Adventure Guy’s predominantly work-from-home status makes these days much less stress-inducing than in the earlier years of my career.
If the weather reports prove accurate, I expect the children will awake happy tomorrow. I braved the grocery store crowds tonight, insuring my pantry is well-stocked with bread and my refrigerator with milk. There is hot chocolate, soup, and fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches. I even splurged on some of the dangerously addictive soft sugar cookies I love and purchased refills for our M & M candy dish.
In an ideal world, the kids will get to enjoy the fruit of my shopping labors thanks to the challenges of navigating school buses on ice but my university will deem car travel not an issue. I’ll let you know if that dream comes true.