It was -10F this morning when the kids were getting ready for school. The school district sent out automated messages to warn parents that buses were late, temperatures were dangerous, and bundle up your kids. They also encouraged parents to drive their kids to school so they didn't have to wait at the bus stop for a potentially late bus. All good advice. I got the message on my home phone, my cell phone voice, cell phone text, my husband's cell phone voice and cell phone text, and his email and my email. I actually got two emails. I wouldn't have been surprised if someone left me a flyer on my front door with the message. Bases covered? Check.
So Jeff took Charlotte to preschool on his way to work, and I took Eleanor and Oliver to the Elementary School then Sam (who normally rides the bus) to the Middle School. The Middle School was crammed with cars full of one parent and one or two kids. I was in the right lane, trying to turn left into the school. Cars kept coming toward us on the left lane, also turning left into the school. The oncoming traffic flow didn't let up. After a few minutes of waiting, the three cars in front of us managed to get into the school drop-off zone when a nice car on the oncoming side stopped for a moment to let them drive in front of her before she turned in. But I didn't get in. And nobody else seemed inclined to follow her example. Nope, I couldn't turn. So we waited, along with a whole line of cars behind us. We had a great bonding time while Sam fidgeted impatiently and I tried to make traffic stop to let us in. I couldn't do anything so I was left trying to stop the cars by glaring at them and willing them to stop - this was an exercise of sheer brain power. I think I need practice glaring and more mind exercises because nobody seemed to notice us, nobody paused to let us in. It didn't help that while we were stuck in the car I watched in disbelief Sam's very own bus drive to the bus drop-off with a bunch of empty seats and a couple of kids (who seemed warm enough to me - the wait at the bus stop didn't seem to have harmed them a bit). Yes, the bus beat us. And still, no matter how much Sam wiggled and how much I concentrated, the cars kept coming. The bus emptied its contents, a few tiny Jonahs spewed from the belly of a giant whale, all safe and sound, warm and on time. The kids went in the school. The bus left. And still we watched. Then finally - FINALLY! - someone let us in.
I didn't feel too bad about Sam being late. There were clearly many more kids coming from all directions, including behind us, so they were all late together.
The school district has a policy of not closing the schools for cold weather unless actual temperature (not windchill) is -20F. I don't know - you get to a point that cold is just cold and -10F feels just the same as -20F. Why not give the buses a break and call it a day. I'd love to keep my kids home. Yes, this was the first day back after a two-week vacation, but for me it's never long enough. I admit, I like having those kiddos around.
Of course, it was nice to have some time to actually get some stuff done today. I went grocery shopping all by myself - all alone! - and ran seven miles on the treadmill (no way no way no way am I going running outside in -10F). And I got some cleaning done. Still, I missed their company. Thank goodness for weekends.