It is now month three of school, and although we were prepared for the inevitable closures, we were not prepared for the onslaught of unease that accompanied them. From wondering if my child was in any way exposed even though the positive cases weren’t in his class to feeling frustrated by communication. The mounting uncertainties will leave a parent questioning everything. Should I have sent my child this year? Did I choose the right school? Will he be okay if we decide to pull him from school and he doesn’t socialize with anyone but his brother? Will my sanity remain intact if we completely change our routine now? My brain and 3 AM have become best friends.
As my family sits here in quarantine because someone in my son’s class tested positive for Covid this week, I realize that almost every ounce of optimism I had about this pandemic back in March is gone. I’m paranoid every time my kid coughs, and we check temperatures every morning – at least for the next two weeks. I still enjoy the time together especially with my husband still working from home, but if I’m being honest, it’s monotonous. The luster from the freedom to just do nothing is gone. There’s no trips to plan, no playdates, no elusive date nights to look forward to. I actually miss our weekly trips to Costco even though I dared to say I was getting “bored” with them back in January. My kids hugging each other and racing dump trucks around the house usually bring me out of my funk for a few minutes, but it’s getting to me.
Okay, sorry I went down a rabbit hole there for a second. Enough of the melancholy writing. Since R is off of school for the next two weeks and potentially indefinitely, his teacher made up a fun little activity packet for them to do at home. We hopped in the car to go pick it up from the front steps of the school today, and my son was immediately excited with the turkey building craft set he saw. Me, on the other hand, I was disappointed. I mean, where was the pocket sized teacher to keep R on track, the prepared mid-morning snack to curb grumpiness, five other 3-year-olds to play with my child, and a drive-thru coffee for me? I’m completely kidding. It’s wonderful to have something to guide our learning, and maybe if I tell R it came from his beloved teacher he will sit still for longer than 4.2 seconds. Our version of homeschooling usually involves more dirt.
This is not an easy school year for anyone. Everyone is trying to reinvent ways to do everything from teachers trying to teach virtually to parents trying to homeschool to kids trying to be kids. Quarantine is hard, but parameters are set for a reason: to protect the health of yourself and those around you. It would be easy for us to get worn down eight months into this pandemic, but we continue to wear our masks, be ultra conscious of hand hygiene, and social distance because we care about our community. Have a very safe and healthy Thanksgiving everyone!