So there is no school strike today.
The labour dispute was with the support workers, custodians, secretaries and special needs educators, not the teachers, but most boards decided that full school closures would be implemented in the event of a walkout.
At 9 pm last night the media announced, well ahead of the midnight deadline, that a tentative agreement had been reached and all children are expected to go to school on Monday.
According to Twitter, mass panic ensued. Naturally the kids were disappointed. The parents, especially those with small children and daycare/afterschool care were overjoyed.
I turned off social media, now that I had my answer, and announced to the kids that school was on tomorrow. Secretly I hoped they would remember their lunch bags from Friday, still inside their long forgotten knapsacks. Anxiously I hoped they didn’t have homework they ignored, just like the panicked twitter crowd.
But I said nothing. I turned my attention to the Walking Dead (which I had not been following regularly since season 6, they’re in season 10 now) in order to turn my overstimulated brain off, and made a mental note to remain silent in the morning.
Did I mention it was 9 pm? This is well past my active parenting time.
Fast forward to this morning.
I will only say this:
I escaped into the shower when I finished packing their lunches into ziplock bags labeled with a post-it note. When I came out, one kid was gone but the other was frantically reading (and sobbing) about something.
I didn’t ask. Obviously she forgot to read something.
Thermoses from Friday’s lunch were in the sink drip drying. They must have noticed while I was in the shower, which makes sense because I was periodically treated to cold splashes of water from my shower head, which happens when they run the water in the kitchen.
I wandered over to make my partner a poached egg and checked my incessantly noisy phone. Who is texting me?
It was the kid on the bus. He forgot his instrument.
I’ll spare you the back and forth about his anxiety and the directions he was hurling out at us parents to help him out. In the end, my partner left by offering to detour past his school and dropping it off, this one time, only because he was heading into work early anyway.
In the meanwhile, I was left with an atrocious mess all over the main floor, a clear indicator that natural consequences have definitely kicked in.
One day, when they’re calm(er), I will ask them if they still believe my planning ahead, my list making, my reminding and checking my online calendar, is still stupid. If they still deem these things as unnecessary tools for kids in middle and high school.
But not today. Today, I sit on the couch ignoring a mountain of chores, typing out my words into the internet, and drinking coffee.