The phone rang at 6 a.m.
I bolted upright in bed and immediately thought of Olympia Dukakis.
"Who’s Dead?" I growled in my best Brooklyneese.
Turns out the school day was killed by six inches of snow.
When I was a little kid, a person had to listen to the radio for what seemed like hours before they knew for sure whether they’d have to get out of their pajamas and slog to the bus.
"I think they closed the school … but there was static around the Es … I have to listen as it loops around again."
Television stations got into the school closing game when I was a tweenager, and we fixed our eyes on the ticker that traveled across the bottom of the screen as the names of the districts whizzed past faster than credits on a Disney animated movie.
It occurs to me that the death of this particular school day harbors another tiny demise: My kid will probably never bound into my room whooping and hollering that school is cancelled (YIPPEE!!).
I’ll be telling her about her time off once I get my breathing in check after the shock of a pre-dawn phone call.
It also occurs to me that being an adult on the first snow day of the season is about as fun as shoveling heavy, wet snow uphill in bare feet.
Not only do you have to dig yourself out and get to work, but now you have to get a sitter, fight your way through snow drifts the school bus wouldn’t risk AND then wait in long lines to get your winter tires changed over with the others who had bet Climate Change would make that little chore obsolete this year.
While the kids are eating snow off the car (DON’T EAT SNOW OFF THE CAR) you stand there with your snow brush dusting the windshield off into your shoes.
You think you should maybe wear boots, but then you’d just have to go back in the house.
"GO BACK AND GET YOUR BOOTS" your mom-voice chastises you. But as an adult, you ignore it.
Your kids however, look a few feet up from the footwear and wonder at what’s not on your cranium.
"Mommy? Where’s your hat?"
"Oh … I don’t know. … No time for that now. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go."
She hands you a black, fleece hat with pink ears and tells you can wear it. She’s got an extra one.
You thank her and take it, putting it into your pocket "for later," you tell her.
It will be alright. You’ll get the snows, you’ll have greater traction. It will be warm in the car and you will just go from there into a warm building. Everything will be fine.
Your car tire won’t blow out on the highway right after you get the tires changed.
You won’t be stuck by the side of an interstate in foot-high drifts as you wait for your husband to come and rescue you your Knight in Carhart coverall armor.
No. That NEVER happens.
But as you are standing by the side of that road with snow seeping into your shoes, you can be assured that when the police cruiser arrives to make sure your are OK (and that you have assistance on the way) you may not have the proper footwear but you will have a stylish hat.