Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bundling Up

This morning Great Scott surprised me bright and early by saying, "You're not going to believe this, but school is cancelled." Outside in the near-dark, I could see only a powdering on the dark grass. He had to be kidding!

He was, in fact, not kidding. Schools for miles around have cancelled, although we aren't supposed to get much snow, and what we're in for isn't supposed to be snow of the "sticking" sort. Perhaps some cancellations are due more to cold (supposedly we're in the coldest midwest December on record thus far), with temperatures below freezing and due to continue dropping all day.

It's not been unusual to see students without coats when I pick the girls up at the end of a frigid school day, and Great Scott tells me that when he's asked students, "Where's your coat?" they often reply that they don't have one. Sometimes it's just high school students who are too "cool" (literally!) to wear a coat, but often enough these kids really don't have winter coats.

The school nurse told me one year that she loves it when people will donate warm winter things to her office. She can hand these out quietly to the kids who need them most badly--the kids whose parents can't afford even thrift store clothing but are too proud to ask for help, the kids whose parents just haven't bothered to notice how cold it is or what their kids are wearing, the kids whose parents are cooking meth on the kitchen stove and have no interest in what their kids wear to school or even if they're going to school at all. It happens. I've seen them. I've known them. I've had them run to me and huddle under my coat for warmth and a quick hug at the end of the day before climbing onto their bus, even though they know me only as the mother of one of their friends.

So...just a thought...if you have any kids' outgrown winter wear, or if you know people who do, bundling it up and making a quiet offer to a school nurse may just save some little fingers, throats, ears and bodies from painful cold this winter.

7 comments:

I_Wonder said...

Thanks for the reminder and for giving me a perspective about schools that I no longer have. My grandchildren live in Kentucky and I've lost touch with the daily events in public schools.

Jennifer said...

A lot of the schools are cancelled here, too. We've only got about two inches. As for the coats, I'll see if I have anything I don't want or need anymore. Where is this school? I'll be home next week; I can bring it by then.

Jennifer said...

On second thought, Mtn. Grove probably needs them just as much; maybe I'll ask a nurse there. If not, though, I'll let you know.

Fieldfleur said...

I've been thinking that I need to wash up those old coats in the closet for an area coat drive -- thanks for the confirmation!

Lauren (AKA Brad's shorter half) said...

Well guess what! Not only do I have stuffs for your sister, I have a couple coats I can give you as well, if you would be so kind as to give them to the nurse. I asked around and no one here knows anyone who can use them, but I bet your school nurse will know a couple who can use them. Will get them to you next tiem we gather.

L.

Smarts said...

A lovely and compassionate post.

Cindy said...

You all are simply the best. Thank you.