Well, I had a Watershed Moment in Parenting today.
It snowed here, however lightly, late yesterday afternoon. While my friend Loretta in New Orleans got enough snow to build an honest-to-God snowman in her yard, we just got a dusting. By the time I headed out to attend a Christmas cocktail party at 7, the roads were damp, but otherwise just fine.
But when I blearily glanced at the weather on the local television news this morning, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature news crawl and a tiny (but growing) list of local school closings. School closings! After that trace of snow? Cowboy up, people!
Well, the South is famous for its longtime "Hey, it snowed a quarter of an inch! Let's close the schools" mentality. I mean, we also flock to our grocery stores and clean them out of milk and bread at the slightest hint of a snow report. (Oooh, and this gives me an excuse to quote from one of my all-time favorite columns from the now-gone Birmingham Post-Herald when I ask, "Have you ever been desperate enough to eat a milk sandwich?") But, as it turned out, neighboring counties received a lot more snow than we western Davidson County people did. And I'm guessing most school officials wisely decided it was better to be safe than sorry, especially in areas where many children ride school buses very early in the morning, before the roads clear up.
So I sat on the edge of my bed, waiting for the name of William's school to scroll by. And this is where the watershed part comes in: I realized I was hoping for his school to NOT be on the list of closed schools. That's right: I was cheering for school to be open on a snow day, not closed.
Indeed, it was the first time in my entire life I didn't want a snow day! "C'mon, William needs to go to school," I muttered, with my eyes glued to the screen. "I need William to go to school."
When the alphabetical list on one channel scrolled by, and the school name didn't appear, I switched channels. Then I checked all three local news stations' websites. Nope, not there either. That's it, I decided. We're going to school. And we did. Or, he did. He happily scampered into the Jungle Room and greeted his teachers and waved me away. And away I flew like the down of a thistle. Which is to say I ran errands, bought Christmas presents, and went to the bank. No way could I have done all that with a snow-day William in tow. Plus, the little bit of snow was all gone. If you're going to have a snow day, you should at least have, you know, some snow to play in.
This is what it's like being a parent. I root against snow days. I don't allow cookies before mealtime. I insist on a regular--and early--bedtime. And sometimes, when I open my mouth, I even hear my mother's voice come out.