Here in the Midwest USA this winter, Mother Nature has gone a bit crazy. We traditionally have cold, snowy winters, hot summers, and anything in between during Spring and Fall. Most of December was fairly mild, and now that we are into January/February, that bitter cold has set in. Kinda. We are forecasted for temps -20 degrees to -40 degrees the next few days. It will be 40-55 degrees this weekend. Welcome to the Midwest, everyone.
With the extreme cold weather also comes school delays and cancellations. I will try to paint the picture of how this works for those of you in warm climates lucky enough to not have to deal with school delays and cancellations. If it snows or is icy, it’s usually a crap shoot whether the schools will close or not (depending on how well and fast they’re able to clear the roads, sidewalks at school, bus stops, etc). However, you pretty much know if it’s going to be cold enough for them to delay or cancel due to temperature. The school district that my kids are in does not make the decision to delay or cancel until the morning of. 5:36am to be exact. Wanna know how I know that? That’s when they call to tell you.
The night before what you believe will be a delay or cancellation is pretty stressful for many reasons. Maybe you have to figure out child care or find someone to cover for you at work, but another thing I noticed last night was that anxiety. You go to bed with anxiety, knowing damn well that the phone is going to ring at 5:36am and wake you up straight out of dead sleep. It’s that heart stopping, panic stricken type of wake up, too, even though you know it’s coming. You go to bed that night knowing what’s coming. You even wake up a few times throughout the night and check your phone to see if you missed it, but you haven’t missed it. You don’t get that lucky. At 5:36am that phone rings and you shoot straight up and answer that call. It takes you 30 minutes to go back to sleep because that’s how long it takes your pounding heart to go back to a normal pace. You knew it was coming, but it’s still dramatic.
Back in my day we had to wake up and wait for our school district’s name to scroll across the bottom of the local news channel’s news broadcast (maybe I also hiked 3 miles uphill in the snow…who knows). When the news went to a commercial, so did the names of the closings. My school district started with the letter W, so I was always towards the end. I always think about how lucky we have it now that we don’t have to do that. Then 5:36am rolls around, and I long for the days of sitting in front of the tv holding your eyes open to stay awake, waiting for your school’s name to scroll across.
Tell me, do you find yourself anxious about that “school’s cancelled” call? What is your family’s favorite snow day activity?