January 10, 2014 by Ray Yanek
It was our second day of being snowed in, after two full-weeks of Christmas vacation for both me and my kids.
Outside, the snow was piled high. Strong winds swirled snow off of roofs and into white vortexes. The temperature plummeted far below zero–fourteen degrees below zero to be exact– and the weather app on my phone said the wind chill was making it feel like forty-five below.
Inside, the scene was bleak. Heaters hummed and groaned. The electric fireplace gave off meager heat. My nine-year old son and I sat on the sofa, legs outstretched, bodies sunken deep in the cushions. He picked the lint from the legs of his fuzzy pajama bottoms; I
picked lint from my belly button contemplated the mysteries of existence..
We would sigh in unison, he out of boredom; me because all my beer had frozen out in the Siberian wasteland that was my garage.
Occasionally, I would steal glances at my son. He looked so sweet and innocent, yet I could see the plotting behind his big blue eyes. I knew what he was thinking. I knew I would soon be on his lunch menu if someone didn’t produce chicken nuggets pronto.
Tensions were running high.
Me: Yes son.
Son: I have a question. Something I’ve been wondering.
Dad: What’s that?
Son: Well, I was wondering–do burgers cause boogers?
Dad: Ha ha. No, son. They do not.
Son: Are you sure?
Dad: I’m a teacher. I’m sure.
Son: Do you like burgers?
Dad: I love burgers.
Son: Aaaaaaand do you have a lot of boogers?
I turned my head to him and met his steely gaze. We eyed each other curiously, letting the logic of his statement settle in.
Me: Okay, I’ll thaw out the hamburger, you figure out someway to take measurements…
I wish I could say I fictionalized the above more that I did, but hey, we had been locked in that house a long freakin’ time.
Thankfully though, my wife intervened before I could fry the hamburgers and my son could modified the bathroom scale. Not long after, the temperature climbed out of the cellar and my children and I were heading back to school.
I’m sure other teachers can understand–and probably parents as well–that life tends to follow the school calendar,not the other one. We’re now into day three of the new semester, so I think it’s safe to say the new year has ‘officially’ begun.
So Happy New Year to all of you, and may our 2014 be so productive, fulfilling and fun, that the cabin fever of boredom or sadness never leads us to measuring boogers….