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The Mast-Head: No Day Off

Wed, 01/17/2024 - 16:58

Grade schoolers here woke up unhappy on Tuesday. There had been a bit of snow, but not enough for a delayed start, let alone a day off. It was pretty while it lasted. My sister got caught, unfortunately, on a walk to get coffee in town as it shifted over to rain. Russell Bennett in the front office, with his expansive view of Main Street, said he thought the overnight snowfall might be all we get for this winter.

But that evening, the East Hampton schools sent a surprise, in emails and text messages, that kids would get a two-hour break while expected nighttime ice on the roads faded away. The first question on the minds of my eighth-grade son and his buddies was how late they would be allowed to stay up and what time they had to leave the house in the morning.

For me, it would have already been a long day, since I get up around 5 a.m. this time of the year when the pre-programmed propane heat kicks in and the pipes start rattling. Once awake it is difficult to remain in bed, what with a cup of coffee sweetly singing a siren song in the kitchen. One of my other children gave me an induction water-boiling kettle for Christmas, which has sped up the caffeine ritual.

Eighth-grade Ellis is not a morning person. As I was getting ready for bed on Tuesday, he asked if it was okay for him to get on the computer to play Fortnite with his friend Hudson. With a two-hour delay Wednesday, what could I say?

On days that it is my responsibility to get him up and off to school, I have to call in Buoy the dog to assist me in rousing Ellis. Buoy mostly wants to be scratched and is not much help. In fact, if I could lift him, Ellis would bring to mind the chickens I kept when I was younger, which at night could be picked up without a struggle and stuffed in a cardboard box for their moves to and from the beach house.

As sleepy as my son is when he gets ready, he kind of miraculously brightens up when we get to Newtown Lane and the school comes into view. This is not unlike my chickens waking up the morning following their move and jumping down from the roost I had put them on as if nothing had happened.


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