Uphill. Both ways.
Last Wednesday, the New York area woke up to 9+ inches of snow. The boys were with Moxie, and when I checked my phone at 7:30 I saw that she had texted two hours earlier, right after Mayor Bloomberg had announced that schools would be open. She asked for my opinion, but when I didn’t respond (due to an unfortunate bout of predawn unconsciousness), she decided to keep the kids home.
Four facts supported her decision. One, she was able to work from home and keep the kids with her all day. Two, she was still limping around in an air cast because of the tendonitis in her ankle. Three, the sidewalk hadn’t been shoveled, and footing would be treacherous. And four, we live far from the kids’ school and rely on a subway line that ain’t all that reliable in good weather, much less after a blizzard. She was trapped with the kids for over an hour once, and she still hasn’t shaken the facial tics.
Taking all that into account, I didn’t agree with her.
I have always believed that if school is open, you go to school. You might have to trudge through a Hoth-like Hellscape while visualizing the school superintendent’s head on a pike, but as long as no one has to shove you into a tauntaun’s carcass, you gotta bundle up and go learn something. Or at least pretend to.
Moxie saw things differently, and I guess the kids benefited from the luck of the draw and got a day off. But if I’m in that same situation (like, say, tomorrow), I will very likely jam my kids into their parkas and drag them into the slush. Which makes me feel like the Villain, the Hardass, the Parent Whose House You Want To Avoid When The Snowplows Are On High Alert.
This isn’t meant as a value judgment, and whether you agree with me or with her on this is your own business. I’m just saying that despite any divorced couple’s best efforts to present a united front, separate households mean separate rules. And in immediate situations, some days you’re the lord, and some days you’re the serf. On those latter days, you can respect the decision without liking it. At which point you have to suck it up, move on, and take your kids sledding.