My phone began ringing at 5 am. It’s mom calling to place me on alert. My daughter’s school is closed for a snow day, she informs. She works at the board of education and is often privy to this information before the school uses all of technology’s bitches (text, the elderly email and the more elderly phone call) to tell everyone else.
I have to get up now, 30 minutes before the alarm bells pry open my eyelids because school closings don’t often translate to work closings. In fact, for my current job at the bourbon distillery, they never do. People gotta’ drink, I suppose. I could use one now.
So out of bed I roll. Into the shower I crawl. Into a uniform I stumble. All the while listening to my phone ding, bang and ring with alerts school has indeed closed.
A decision I must make. Damn. Why the hell am I channeling Yoda at 5 o’ clock in the morning?
Anyhow, to make this decision I must first know whether snow is yet on the ground. I peek out the bathroom window. Snow is impending. This means I can safely transport my precious cargo, Madi the lucky first grader, to her great grandmother’s house for a day of pjs and crap she shouldn’t be eating while I work and watch the roads ice over.
Time to deliver the news. I flip on her bedroom light. She doesn’t flinch. It’s an hour and a half too early for her.
“Madi bug. Wake up baby. Snow cancelled school. Just put your shoes on and I’ll take you to nani’s house,” I say as I grab her bumble bee-shaped overnight bag from her closet and hurriedly fill it with a change of clothes and a stuffed kitten she named Sparkle.
Who knew if school would be on tomorrow. I’d still have to work. The roads would still be too unsafe to have her out, so we usually opt to keep her in one place instead of risking transport on bad roads. Hence the bee bag.
All of this before 6 am. I’m supposed to be clocked in by 7.
She raises up and rubs her eyes.
Instead of putting her shoes on, she looks out the window and informs me that there isn’t any snow on the ground so she can ride the bus.
Snow is coming I tell her, trying to rush. I ask her again but a little more stern to please put her shoes on and to just wear her pjs. Mommy still has to work and we have little time to make it to grandma’s before I’ll be late.
She puts her shoes on while I run to the kitchen to gather lunch. Do I have leftovers to bring? I can’t remember. It’s too damn early to think and I don’t have time to look. I grab a frozen meal and stick it awkwardly in my purse, the corner of the box jabbing my arm pit when I pull my bag over my shoulder.
My sleepy 6-year-old appears in the kitchen with shoes on. I coat her and zip her up.
Out the door to the car we go. In my rush, I didn’t think to heat up the car, and I certainly don’t have time now. I thank the universe for garages so we don’t have frosted windows to deal with.
Madi, starting to wake up a little now, begins talking from her booster seat in the back.
“But mom I just remembered. Is it Wednesday? Summer was going to bring cupcakes for her birthday,” she says.
I must proceed with caution. I hear disappointment and sadness in her voice. Combine those with the general early morning crankiness she inherited from yours truly and you get tears.
“Well I bet Summer will just bring them the next time school is in,” I said, pinning hope on Summer.
Madi continued to voice her concern. She didn’t think it was fair to cancel school on Summer’s birthday. She wanted to wish her a happy birthday on her birthday, not after. And the cupcakes may not taste as good. She didn’t cry, but she was really bothered.
I was struck with how different our worlds are, mine and hers. Her absent cupcakes are my early morning mad dash because of snow.
No, my sweet baby girl. I won’t get a cupcake today either.