Rain Day

Snow days — those make sense here in South Carolina. Most municipalities don’t have the equipment to clear snow properly and effectively. Add to it the lack of general experience drivers here have with snow and it’s fairly obvious why everything shuts down. The snow starts falling in the morning on a school day, and everyone realizes it’s likely only a matter of time before the announcement. At our school, it’s usually something like this: “Teachers, please check your email.” And there we find the procedures we will follow for early dismissal.

Rain, though? I remember there was a kid in the apartment complex we lived in when I was in kindergarten whose mother would keep him home if it rained, but I thought that was a one-time thing, an exception. Today, I found otherwise. By the end of fifth period today, probably a third of the school had already gone home. Early dismissal. To be fair to parents, there was supposed to be a horrible storm passing through: flash flooding, potential tornadoes. Nothing to take lightly. But what ended up happening was so much less dramatic: a few parents began taking their kids out of school, and every other kid, realizing the possibility, texted home. Probably something like this: “Everyone else is going home. Come get me — please!” And soon, there were so many parents waiting to pick up their kids that instead of calling individual classrooms as with the standard procedure, general announcements echoed through the school.

“Will the following students please come to the office for early dismissal,” and then ten, twelve, fifteen names. Five minutes later, “Will the following students please come to the office for early dismissal,” and then ten, twelve, fifteen more names.

Later in the afternoon, an apologetic email from the principal: “I understand that very little teaching can take place due to the announcements,” it began. But what was to be done?

I sent a text to K during lunch: “L is going to be sad because she didn’t get early dismissal. Kids are leaving here in swarms.” Something along those lines. K texted back: “I’m at home with the Boy. He had early dismissal, too. We’re going for L soon.”

And so what do you do with an unexpectedly free afternoon, that rarest of all gifts?

There was a movie, of course. The latest from Netflix, another Studio Ghibli film, Pom Poko. (We as a family have grown to love those films. Not a bad one in the bunch.)

There was a bit of playing, of course. The Boy can find entertainment anywhere. Just add some cars and he’s set.

And K finally got some time to work on a project that’s been haunting us for years: pictures for our living room and kitchen. What to include? How to arrange them? What, sadly, to leave out?

Tomorrow, everything goes back to normal, but only for two days as we near Easter and spring break.