Hate to break it to us, kid…

A glimmer of hope, a small spark really, was fanned into a vigorous flame when we got the call yesterday evening that the early-release was canceled because the schools would be operating on a 2-hour delay.  The phone rang and the canned female voice that announces our calls (so I don’t have to run to check the Caller ID screen) said “CALL…FROM…SCHOOLS!”  When you have an individual who is DESPERATE to go to school (because the past 25 days have been either weekends, holidays or snow days with only ONE school day inserted for teasing,) and said individual possesses the super-power of hypersensitive hearing, THIS will get their attention.  (Memo to me…change Caller ID announcement to “CALL…FROM…KIERKEGAARD!”)

The rest of the evening (which wasn’t an easy evening, by the by, as there were payroll issues that Dada had to return to the office for) was peppered with SCHOOL?  SCHOOL?  SCHOOL?  When Dada walked in from work (at around seven-thirty,) I handed him a glass of wine and informed him that the word of the evening was…and didn’t get to finish because J raced upstairs and asked, quite eagerly, SCHOOL?

You can imagine how the rest of the evening went.  Between bites of dinner…SCHOOL?…while helping with dishes…SCHOOL?…while folding laundry…SCHOOL?…while being read a story…SCHOOL?  Once in a while J embroidered a SCHOOL BUS?  LUNCH BOX?  BACKPACK?  TEACHER? in there, but mostly it was SCHOOL?  The Proloquo2Go got a workout.  We used it to explain that today would be VERY COLD, and that there was a 2-HOUR DELAY; we’d be walking to wait for the BUS at 8:15 instead of 6:15, and it would be FREEZING!  And then, finally, J’s energy petered out at 10:30 and out went the lights…

At 10:46 Dada was starting to snore, TGG had said goodnight and was in his room, and I was trying to finish a book that has been tripping me up (because I don’t like any of the characters in it, and good riddance to it,) and the phone rang.

Now, you KNOW Dada was sitting bolt-upright in bed so quickly the first ring hadn’t yet finished, and I admit I said a rather uncouth expletive when I heard “CALL…FROM…SCH…”  The phone ringing after a certain time has a note of some degree of doom.  I never expect a “hey!  How ARE you???  I called to give you happy news!” after 10:00 P.M.  This is a message from the _________  School District.  CRAP!  Tomorrow, Wednesday, January the 8th, all schools will be CLO… I hung up.  When I was younger, I thought hearing “it’s over.  I don’t love you anymore” was heartbreaking; I’ve since revised this notion, and find that “it’s over” is waaaay down on the list behind the announcement of major illnesses, death, and snow days (not necessarily in that order.)  Why listen to the rest of this pre-recorded clanging of doom when it was obvious I’d have to get a lot of sleep to deal with the repercussions of “um…J????  Hi, sweetie…good morning!!!  Guess what!!!!!!!!  There’s NO SCHOOL today after all!!!!”

I slept fitfully.  In my mind (which is addled by the cold, the extended “vacation” imposed on us by the weather, and so forth) I calculated that this is the 24th day J’s been home since December 13th.  Weekends, holidays, and snow days included, he’s only been to school ONCE.  Mother Nature has a sense of humor…mine isn’t exactly GONE, but it’s taken a beating.  It’s not dwindling, but it’s definitely dented.  J is being very patient with me, and I’m being very patient with him, but you can imagine that our relationship has become a routine; unless school goes back to its normal groove, our relationship will lose all its aura of mystery and will be doomed to over-familiarity in short order.

I feel bad for J.  I know he likes going to school, leaving the house.  He hasn’t had a chance to throw his little morning tantrum for days now…this has to be wearing him down.  Either that or it’s building up to a big tantrum when his world falls back where it’s supposed to be.  We have done tons of things to be entertained and focused, but I don’t know if this works for or against his mood at school.  If I make it too much fun here, will he be upset over there because it’s so different?  If I make it dull here, will he get there in a bad mood and react accordingly?  It’s a slippery slope, and I don’t quite know how to climb it without making a lot of mistakes…

So…here we are…once more…at home…the great outdoors look stark and cold, with barely any snow on the ground.  What little snow there is looks unfriendly, unwelcoming.  If the forecast isn’t lying (and it has been for the past few days,) we should see significantly warmer temperatures starting this weekend, and not a moment too soon.  I know it’s too soon to yearn for spring, but I’m certain that all those who’ve had to deal with this ridiculously cold polar vortex are yearning for it with a lot more energy than other years.

In the meantime, we are warm, and we are here.  And J is holding up OK for someone who’s been cooped up with his mom for days and days and seemingly interminable days.  We have things to do (changing the Caller ID announcement IS on the list,) blankets and central heating, chores to complete, projects to start…  We skipped the lentils last night because of Dada’s delay at work, and I won’t try them tonight because I think one shock to the system a day is more than enough.  I’ll save that for when he’s been at school and he is worn down from the effort of that.  🙂  Now all we need is the chance to go out into the world of other things and other people, shake the dust off our social skills, and stretch our personalities…

Tomorrow is another day…whether it is, actually and irrevocably, a school day remains to be seen…or heard.  I hope Kierkegaards’ next batch of news is better…

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