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.

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)



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