While I was standing in the express line at Kroger, an elderly woman pulled up behind me – she was driving one of those scooter carts, so she literally pulled up behind me – and asked if I had heard if the county had called off school due to the weather. I was a little dumbfounded because when I had walked into the grocery store 15 minutes earlier, the weather wasn’t that bad. It was cold and windy with a few flurries, and when I mean a few, I mean “Oh look, there’s a snowflake. (wait… wait… wait…wait… wait…) Oh look, there’s another snowflake. (wait… wait… wait… wait… wait…) Oh look…” You get the drift (see what I did there?). But there wasn’t any indication that the weather was extreme enough to dismiss school early. I simply replied that I hadn’t heard of any cancellations, and turned back to face the cashier.
The woman continued to speak to me, so I turned back to her and gave her the “I’m only turning around to humor you” smile.
Elderly lady in scooter: I wish they’d just call it off and let those kids go home. It’s bitterly cold out there.
Me: (smiling) Mmmmm… it is cold. (Thinking in my head: You have no idea what “bitterly cold” is. Try 15 degrees below zero with a 50 mile an hour wind chill. That comes closer to bitterly cold.)
Elderly lady in scooter: They should just close school during the winter and skip making all the children go out in this kind of weather. It just doesn’t make any sense making those kids go out in the cold (tisk-tisking for emphasis).
Me: (still smiling, nodding head and thinking “No. Not happening at my house.”)
Elderly lady in scooter: I talked to my school board representative and told her that instead of closing school over the summer, they should close school during the winter. That way the kids wouldn’t have to wait for the bus when it’s so bitterly cold, and they wouldn’t be in contact with kids during the flu season. It would solve a lot of problems.
Me: (raising eyebrows) That’s interesting, but there wouldn’t be anything for the kids to do. They would be cooped up in the house all day because it’s too bitterly cold to go outside. They would miss out on so many activities by not being in school during the winter months. (Adding with a smirk) And don’t forget about the parents, I’m not sure they would like their kids stuck in the house all day.
Elderly lady in scooter: That’s true, but the parents would have to get over it.
Get over it?
Get over it?
Me: (eyes bug and I turn to face the cashier, completely finished with the conversation)
The Elderly lady in the scooter continued to voice her protest and policy change to the people behind her, who were all too happy listen to her, I’m sure.
How nice would it be to tailor how the world works according to what we want? Most seriously, I would appreciate finding a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a carton of eggs left on the grocery store shelf when a snow storm has been forecast. But it’s not going to happen. I would really like for a bus to personally pick up my children at 7:30am instead of 6:40am, so they could get an extra hour of sleep. But it isn’t going to happen. And I would love all the slow drivers to stay in the right lane!
Personally, I am all for the school year being just that – all year. Quite frankly, the novelty of Christmas break wears off on December 26th, and summer break is no longer fun after the first week, which is when one of them wakes up and says “I’m bored.” Why do I care if my kids don’t get three months off during the summer? I’ve already had my childhood.