Sliding Doors


Remember that movie, Sliding Doors? It’s the one that follows Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in two parallel lives, one if she caught her train as planned, and the other if she missed it. It’s all about chance, fate and what’s meant to be. It’s kind of a mediocre movie, but I love it anyway.

I’m living my own little Sliding Doors at the moment.

Lily was supposed to start school yesterday. Thanks to Hurricane Irene, however, the whole school is closed, cancelled on the very first day back from summer vacation.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been counting down the days until classes start for weeks; not so much because I’m anxious to get the kids up in the morning and deal with lunches and uniforms and homework, but because I really need to get this damn book written and it’s impossible to do anything with the all the kids around.

So, the news about school came as a bit of a joke. And, by a bit, I mean I was convinced that we were being Punked all afternoon. It just seemed too, too cruel to possibly be true.

Of course, I realize how lucky we are: We are safe, our house generally unscathed and it could have been so much worse. Of course. But, c’mon, Baltimore Gas & Electric, enough already.

All day yesterday, I walked through life picturing what would be happening if school had been operating as planned.

If I had been able to drop Lily off at eight in the morning, I would have found out who her teacher was and which locker had her name on it. I would have stayed for the boys’ orientations an hour later I would have met their teachers and seen their classrooms. I would have come home and attempted to have them play together while I stole a few minutes here and there on the computer. We would have picked Lily up and they’d play for a while before dinner, when I would, again, attempt to write for a bit. That was what was supposed to happen. It was the plan.

Instead, we all slept late. While I was supposed to be making lunches, I cuddled in bed with the boys. We went to the zoo in the morning with friends, while I should have been at school for drop off and orientations. Later, when I would have been chatting with the other parents about which classes the kids were in and what sports, if any, they’d be doing, we ate my favorite ice cream. Then, we took one of Lily’s friends home and Ben had a play-date of his own, and later we all met for pizza while the kids played at the top of their lungs.

It was a good day. One last summer adventure before the school routine sets in. Arguably better than the parallel day I thought I was getting.

Unfortunately, school is closed again today and we’ll be doing it all over again. I beg to differ with fate on this one, though. I’m pretty sure the kids are meant to be back in school by now. I’ve had it with summer.


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  1. 21

    Jennifer Probst says

    OH God, you took the words out of my mouth! I have a million things to do, revising, writing, blogging, reviewing. My kids crawl on my lap every five minutes and ask what fun thing we are doing today, and then I feel guilty. I hate getting up too but I need some structure! I was thinking more like Groundhog Day but Sliding Doors will work – lol!!! I have six more days left!

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  2. 22

    MusingsfromMe/Jill says

    We were closed Monday. My middle and elementary schoolers were back Tuesday. My high schooler was off yesterday due to the power outages. All three kids are in school today and all is right in this mom’s world!
    I hope you get back to normal soon.

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  3. 23

    Heather M says

    School doesn’t start until the 6th Sept here and then it’s only for an hour the first day. There’s the possibility of a teacher’s strike too – which would mean school doesn’t start … at all. I think they are ready to go back.. even if they don’t know it ;)

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  4. 24

    OneHonestMom says

    If they had sympathy cards for such occasions, I would send you one. That is terrible. If my kids (6 & 4 1/2) were not going to school, but hanging in limbo – not summer, not at school, I would go insane. INSANE!
    Kids are supposed to be in school in September like Christmases are supposed to be white. Wish I had something encouraging to say….but I’ve come up empty, sorry. I hope your kids will be sitting at school, bums in desks, as soon as absolutely possible.

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  5. 25

    Kim says

    My kids are in the BCPS system and were VERY fotunately one of the schools that went back today. I was doing the freaking happy dance yesterday when they finally announced! I hope you’re doing the same dance today. They need to be in school – that is for darn tootin’ sure.

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  6. 26

    Heather says

    I LOVE this post and all the reactions. My son is only 15 months old, and as much as I love him, I’ve never ever questioned the fact he’ll go to school one day. Your words and the comments that follow just confirm it. Imagine homeschooling. Yikes! Non-stop togetherness. PS – I also love that mediocre movie. What is it about it?

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  7. 27

    Varda (SquashedMom) says

    School doesn’t start here in NYC until NEXT Thursday the 8th. Am praying I keep my sanity intact until then. Questionable if this is possible. Wishing you good luck for school start tomorrow.

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  8. 28

    christi says

    I am convinced that summer needs to be MUCH shorter! Perhaps just a month or so. Then give them a longer winter break, fall break, spring break, etc. Research supports that it’s better for their learning and retention, but it’s also better for their mommies sanity!

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  9. 29

    Julia's Child says

    Here in VT we’re going back to school… oh wait! We’re in limbo. We have no idea when the road will be fixed, and the water drinkable again so we can go back to school. Argh!

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  10. 30

    Melinda says

    Several years we’ve been out for 2-3 days on the second week of school for hurricanes. But it’s FL and expected. It’s disruptive to getting into the school groove. I always sat at home thinking the same thing. They aren’t suppose to be here. Hope they get it all fixed soon!

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  11. 31

    Odd Dad says

    I think the trend is leaning toward shorter summer breaks. When i was a kid school got out in May and didnt begin again until September. Now my kids get out of school in June and go right back at the beginning of August. It is nice to have some peace and quiet to get some writing done, isn’t it? Have you thought about sending your kids to Summer camp?

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  12. 32

    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation says

    I cannot fucking believe your kids haven’t started school yet. Sadie has already been in 1 week. Yes, yes I know you hate me now. Sending you LOTS of back to school thoughts & wishes.

    Oh yes, and vodka.

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    • 33

      Jillian says

      I feel like a total dick admitting my son has been in school since the 10th. He is out yesterday and today due to a cold. However if he wasn’t in yet, he would be in a box. His little mouth couldn’t have survived one more rude word. Not one.

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    • 34

      Mary says

      Hahaha! It’s Minnesota state law that school can’t start until after Labor Day (with a few possible exceptions) so schools don’t start Tuesday. BUT our school district has had construction projects going on and my kids don’t even start until Sept. 12! We still get out by the end of May, but there are very few days off scheduled during the school year.

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  13. 35

    C @ Kid Things says

    I was counting down the days this year until school started because both of my boys are going this year and I thought just having 1 at home would award me some kind of break. Apparently I’m delusional thinking my 3 year old daughter would let me have a break. In fact I’m typing this one-handed since she refuses to leave my side. Still, it is a little quieter with my sons inn school and I’m enjoying it. Hope school opens tomorrow for you.

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  14. 36

    Jessica says

    As much as I like the ease of summer there gets to be a point where it just needs to be over. My oldest NEEDS to go back to school. We don’t start until next week. If anything happens and that bus doesn’t come I don’t know what we will do.

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  15. 41

    Brittany {Mommy Words} says

    Oh Jill I feel you. I totally thought that all the kids started school tomorrow but I was so wrong. Sophia is in a new TK program and she does not start until Tuesday. She squealed at 3 more days of summer while I struggled to smile and think of what we would do. It has been a long hot one but I’ve got lots of memories :)

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  16. 42

    Mummy Dearest says

    Believe you me, I’d take summer back in a hot second. We’re one week into third grade and I can assure you one of us is not going to make it out alive. Good luck!!

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