Monday, February 06, 2017

Putting Off That Transition

When I climbed into bed last night, it was raining like it had been all day, but I awoke to find it had turned to snow and it's still coming down. As a city of hills, bridges, infrequent snow, and therefore, inexperienced snow drivers, it doesn't take a lot by comparison to other places to close our schools.

There are few things better than a Monday morning snow day. I love my job as I hope these pages attest, but there always comes a point on Sunday when I find myself wishing for "just one more day." It's a manifestation not of my desire to laze around the apartment in my bathrobe (although I'll do that), but rather a manifestation of my knee-jerk reluctance over transitions, which is why I'm so sympathetic to children when they don't want to move on from one thing to the next -- from home to school, from playing to clean up, from outdoors to indoors. Even if what comes next is every bit as good as what comes before, many of us, throughout our lives, have to learn to psyche ourselves into it.

There's a boy in our 2's class who screams and yells and fights his mother all the way to school, but the moment he crosses the threshold he's nothing but smiles and deep, focused play until it's time to pack it all away. Then he pouts and refuses until we start singing songs when he transforms into Johnny-on-the-spot, beaming like it's his birthday.

I'm confident that few of our parents will have trouble with their children this morning, because snow in Seattle is rare enough that it contains magic. Earlier this winter, we received a light dusting over night and Facebook was littered with photos of Woodland Park children out playing in it at the crack of dawn -- no fights about waking up, getting dressed, and getting out the door. I know that some families will have to scramble to figure out child care, but most will spend their morning outside in the snow, teaching a curriculum of snowballs, snowmen, snow angels, and hot chocolate. That is one of my great regrets as a teacher: we're so quick to close the schools that I've never played in the snow with the kids, although I did with my own daughter when she was school-aged. It's a privilege reserved only for parents around here, I guess.

My wife, like the rest of the work-a-day world is still planning to make it into her office, albeit a bit later than normal, and even now I can hear cars passing in the street below. But me, I'm taking advantage of one of the non-monetary perks of the profession: drinking a second cup of coffee while watching the snow and putting off that transition for another day.

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1 comment:

Julie S said...

I've been kicking myself ALL weekend for not taking my little kids out first thing Friday morning when we had snow on the ground here in Edmonds. By the time we went outside almost all of it had melted. Won't make that mistake again! Enjoy your day off. I'm off to go get that second cup of joe right now myself...