And then, on Friday, it snowed a few inches in New York and de Blasio, the show-off, cancelled school. The snow day did have some plusses:
First, I went sledding with my children, for the first time. Ever. We used to live in the plains of downtown, where the biggest hills were the snowdrifts blocking the crosswalks around Union Square. We built some snow-people in our downtown days, padding around Stuyvesant Square in full-body snow gear. But sledding required planning, and a subway ride (!). But no more. We are now just blocks away from a Riverside park sledding hill so desirable that the local CBS news station was there filming when we arrived! (And this is why no one watches the local news). It was a brisk 14 degrees out when we got there, and sled we did, hopping up and down in between runs to keep the circulation going in the toes. It was a classic New York family moment. Newsworthy, even.
Second, Josh made soup.
That's it for the plusses. School is good for the kids, good for the parents. Especially those of us writers/ artists who need a room of our own (or at least a quiet table) to work. Sometimes it feels like school vacations are black holes on the calendar--projects in progress will be suspended until the children leave again. I mean, I'm not saying these black holes aren't enjoyable. It's nice to have a relaxed relationship with time and schedules, and to loll with family and friends. But when it comes to personal productivity, I can't even open a file without a kid reading over my shoulder. Without privacy and the promise of prolonged quiet, it's not even worth trying.
For those of you hunkering down with your kids beneath the talons of the Polar Vortex, all I can say is I feel for you. My parents love to tell stories of their Omaha days, where you couldn't open the door for all the feet snow, and the minus minus minus wind chills (and 100's+ in the summer!), and forget sledding--it really is the plains!--and all I can say is, all the power to you middle-of-Americans. Enjoy the football and let me know when they clear the ice off the runways so you can come visit us in our mild-weather paradise.
Here's to 2014, and many happy days of school ahead.
What we all want to do after two weeks of vacation.