December 12, 2008
Ice age coming ... and we still have school
"Our superintendent is from Alaska. That's why." That was the bitter complaint, the rumor that spread on the bus as it rolled over icy, snow-covered roads.
When I was a kid, all the other schools got more snow days than us. It never seemed fair.
The hope for a snow day usually began when I'd come downstairs in the morning and hear the radio. That sound meant that my mother was listening for school closings. We kids would gather at the kitchen table while my mother spooned out bowls of hot oatmeal with canned peaches floating in it.
When the announcer would say, "These schools closed," my mother would turn the little nob to make the sound louder, and I'd put down my spoon to cross my fingers. How cruel it would be when our school didn't make the list.
We'd grumble as we put on boots, coats, and mittens, grabbing out lunches and books. (No one carried backpacks in those days: they hadn't been invented yet.) Any other day, we might have gone cheerfully out to wait for the bus, maybe even looked forward to seeing our friends, but the knowledge that OTHER KIDS had the day off, that OTHER KIDS were happily climbing back into bed or getting out their sleds or getting dressed to go build snowforts -- well, that was hard to take.
Of course, my kids' generation is more pro-active than mine. They have rituals around the wish for a snow day. When a snowstorm is predicted, they wear their pajamas inside out and backwards. This is supposed to guarantee a snow day. Sometimes it works, of course. We do get an awful lot of snow here.
But other times, like today, it doesn't. "It's because not enough kids wore their clothes inside out," Shaggy Hair Boy complained as I picked him after school. "EVERYONE BUT US had a snow day today."
The district has a new superintendent, as the other one retired years ago, but the rumor has not changed since my childhood: "It's because the superintendent is from Alaska. That's why."
The title of this post was With-a-Why's away message today.
Posted by jo(e)