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Pandemic Snow Day!
Work, school proceed because of the internet, disappointing all
Remember snow days? I have a distinct memory from my childhood of wading chest-deep in snow, liberated from the tyranny of desks and food in trays, recognizing in the falling snow the existence of the Divine. I also remember my parents running around with me in the cold air, our footsteps muted; on a really big snow day (like today), they took the day off, too.
You know what the internet did? It stole our snow days and replaced them with the opposite of snow days—a day in which you must work and also care for your child while they work. Contemporary parents may recognize this as “the thing we have been doing since last March”. The modern snow day, in other words, is a pandemic Monday. We have replaced the best kind of day with the worst kind of day.
As the fluffy stuff piled up in great blankets outside our windows today, Laurea and I were trading Kina time—helping her through school, making her lunch, painting, watching Frozen, and attempting to take her out to play in the miraculous snowy landscape that she loved so much last December. She loved it! Remember? Today, not so much. On two occasions, Kina returned sobbing from the great outdoors, deeply concerned about the cold (for which, dear reader, she was amply clothed). No snowmen were assembled, nor angels smooshed out.
The opposite of a snow day.
We hold out hope for tomorrow, when the snow will feel more commonplace, less wild. Will I have to work? Yes, because the internet makes it inevitable, and we should have thought of that when we invented it. Will she have school? Yes, unquestionably, because our mayor insists on the unflinching daily education of our municipal youth, and the internet makes that possible—to an extent that is debatable, despite the heroic efforts of the city’s teachers. Has Bill de Blasio considered what it means to deny our kids the pause in work guaranteed to all of us by the meteorological Divine? Has any of us thought about what it means, when nature is telling us to stop, to simply not stop?
We have a bowl full of snow in our freezer. There’s a metaphor in it.