Creeping, still in my pajamas, to the kitchen extra early to flip on the radio to “THE” station – listening, shivering, hoping, desperate for them to announce our district. Not wanting to leave or do anything that made noise because if you missed it, you would have to wait for all the rest of the alphabetical listings – then another 15 minutes, and then all the letters before your district came back up again. Mine started with an O so it seemed like the whole alphabet had to come before I got to hear it again.
The worst was a two-hour delay because then you’d have to do the whole thing all over and you’d never know if you had time to bundle up in 15 layers to romp and frolic in the snow until after the final proclamation had been made. Hot cocoa to warm you, a blanket around your shoulders, but still unwilling to stop listening until either, you had to get ready for school or could go back to bed or out the door.
Kids today have it easy – the districts just robocall the house and text your parents.
Still, there is the eager anticipation, the run-up to the sleep in the night before. There’s the mad dash to the crowded supermarket to buy “necessities.” Now that I am an adult I think weather forecasts are a hustle to drum up the grocery and hardware store business.
The kids stay blissfully asleep, oblivious to their stroke of luck. I wonder though if the getting up, the reluctant dressing, the frigid wait by the radio isn’t a loss. The relief was so intense because we had to struggle through the alphabet to hear the news.
Like so many things that have become effortlessly easy these days, I think with the increased ease came loss of value. The calls are made before a single flake has fallen is the weather reports are just so.
I wonder too if humans are destined to only appreciate that for which they struggle. Is it part of our nature to take for granted the things which come easy? Have we been lulled into a daze of sorts, the kind which smothers excitement, and dampens our appreciation? I hope not.
I’m the one shivering now while my kids are asleep – looking out the window for the first flake to fall. And, even though it’s cold – I love it.