01 February 2011

KtMac Confessions: I Am Selfish

I'm sure by now y'all have heard about this little here blizzard currently walloping Chicago.  

In the days and hours before the storm hit, my concerns were (in no particular order):
- We need chocolate in the house.
- How am I going to get to O'Hare for a flight scheduled Wednesday afternoon?
- I really don't want to have to sleep at O'Hare Wednesday night. 
- I hope Joe doesn't have school during the blizzard.  I don't want him walking out in that weather. 
- Will the power and internet stay on for the duration?
- Will I be able to work during the storm?  I don't want to have to make up the unplanned time off. 
- Better get a supply of caffeine and junk food. 

And the plan was and is to just hunker down in our cozy little apartment while the snow and the 60 mph winds rage outside.  Joe's classes were cancelled.  My flight was successfully switched to Thursday.  We have chocolate, junk food, and plenty of caffeine.  Thus far, the power and internet are holding steady, enabling both of us to work from the comfort of our cozy little office. 

Then I heard about Chicago Public Schools closing tomorrow for the first time since 1999.  My first thought was, "Good.  Kids don't need to be out in this mess."

But I just read a blog post that explains just why the Chicago Public Schools have not had a snow day for almost a dozen years.  

Simply put, during this horrible blizzard, there are 15,027 kids who will be out in this mess.  15,027 kids without a home.  Without a warm, cozy little place with lights and internet and chocolate and junk food and caffeine.  15,027 children who will know exactly what two feet of snow and 60 mph winds feel like.  15,027

15,027 children.  Kids alone.  Such an overwhelming number.  

That doesn't include all of the homeless adults and elderly out there.  

My heart is just shattered now.  

And now, all I want to do is find as many of these children as possible and crowd them into my cozy little apartment.  Give them all 865 blankets we have tucked in various corners.  Pull out every article of clothing and socks to warm their bodies.  Feed them every single scrap of food.  Including the leftovers from tonight's dinner that I didn't enjoy because it wasn't the best meal I've cooked.  

Put into perspective, all my blizzard worries were awfully selfish.

Edit: Thanks to a boyfriend with a background in the non-profit sector, my guilt has been assuaged somewhat by a charitable donation to the good works of The Night Ministry

No comments: