It is the last day of January in what is usually the coldest month of the year, and it is 58 degrees F outside, pouring rain, wind raging. Our power has already gone out twice for a few minutes each time. This is unusual. When the power goes out here it is typically for hours and hours or days and days. I am so thankful for the shorter outages. Then my phone signals receipt of a text message. At 6:00 a.m.? I think to myself: “I bet it is from the school system.” Less than a minute later my phone rings. The only calls I get at this time of the morning are the school superintendent’s recorded messages that something is not normal. Sure enough, I answer and it is our town’s emergency system with a message from the schools. I touch 1 on my touchscreen and the superintendent announces that there is no power at any of the town’s three schools. School is canceled for the day. Regular schedule tomorrow. We’ve been done in by wind and rain.
I am so happy! I love it when my kids are home. I educated my children at home for over 15 years and had to make the difficult decision to enroll them all in public schools in 2007 a year after becoming sick with Lyme disease. I just never got well. I became sicker and sicker until I couldn’t do much of anything, certainly not educate my children. My brain quit working, virtually no short-term memory, access to long-term memory was damaged, and I could not read or write a sentence with any understanding of the process. Yep, I was definitely done with home education.
Because my children had been with me 24/7 for over 15 years I was just a bit attached to them and loved having them around. And I still do: I love weekends, holidays and early dismissals. I love Christmas, winter, and spring breaks. I love summers the most.
Lest you believe I must be some kind of masochistic saint I also love not needing to get up, get the boys up (and this is no easy task requiring great effort on my part and apparently none on theirs), make lunches, make breakfast, and then stand at the top of the stairs (we have a raised ranch with the entry midway between top level and basement level) watching the clock telling them they have 30 seconds to get out the door. No, they don’t have time to run back and get something from a bedroom or the kitchen or anywhere else. Get out the door! Oh, this is not a pleasant time of day for me. My boys are apparently oblivious to the existence of clocks and time in the mornings. I must interpret such a thing for them every 5 minutes, banging on bathroom doors, “You need to be out of the shower 5 minutes ago!” Or, “Why aren’t you dressed?” Or, “Socks before breakfast. Are you packed up and ready to go?” Or, “I need lunch boxes!” Every school morning this is the routine. And it is stressful for me. Not for them. Hakuna matata to them. No worries, they say. [We have an ugly history of missing buses and I can’t afford the gas to drive them to school so when one of them runs late and misses the bus it means less money for food, or gas for the car, or the rare occasion when I save up enough to buy them an item of clothing, let alone shoes.]
So this morning as I am about to start making lunches I get the notice that school is canceled. Ah, I breathe out (because I don’t think I breathe the 50 minutes it takes to get them ready and out the door — not once the entire time!). No school. I don’t have school, either. I need to read 50 pages in my psych textbook. I will spend a lot of today in my bedroom. I will ask them to be quiet and turn my HEPA filter on high to drown out their noises. But they will be home and I will love it.