Thursday, May 28, 2020

Corona Me-It's the Last Day of School

No please, I'll pass on the Coronavirus, but I'll definitely take a Corona (Refresca, that is; they're pretty good for those wondering). It's been 10 weeks since we took on virtual learning, homeschooling, social distancing, and quarantine. It's been up and down. I had a mental break 3 weeks in (for the record, I went back to check on the good ole' blog here about my break and I was actually correct in that timing before looking it up. That's winning these days) when I decided, for everyone's well being, to switch to a homeschool approach.

I know I'm lucky when I say I can look back on these 10 weeks with fondness. We stopped. We enjoyed simplicity. We laughed. We cried. We worried. Then we laughed again. My minis thrived. My business didn't thrive, but that's about the only thing in my life that didn't thrive these last 10 weeks. My relationships thrived. Our family thrived. The minis are happy. They think it's cool to receive surprise mail from their teachers and saying goodbye to their friends and teachers via a Team Meeting.


I'm a mess. I'm disappointed the school year ended the way it did. I'm disappointed my sixth, newly seventh, grader didn't get a typical end to his first year of middle school. He missed out on so much: orchestra concerts, a performance in a play for acting class, assemblies, and time with his friends. I'm sad for him. I feel for my middle one who didn't get a special lunch with his favorite teacher, no talent show, no excitement at the end of today that he was finally a fifth grader. He doesn't know to be excited for fifth grade because there was no build up to it. I feel for my youngest who still had so much to learn from her amazing teacher, no dance pictures or costume pick ups, no cleaning out the locker and finding that missing sweater we've been searching for (although I'm fairly certain it's stuffed under her bed from her last round of "cleaning"). Instead their years were wrapped up in clear plastic bags and handed to us with masks covering everone's faces.

I feel the uncertainty for next school year. Instead of the emails thanking us for sharing our children with the school, we are getting reminders to fill out the latest parent survey to help the district make a decision on how to start school in a matter of months. Every year on this day, the mini's have school friends walk home with them and we do a huge backyard party with friends, daycare kids and friends, and a special family dinner. It's a celebration. This year didn't have that same ring to it. Just as I get confused about which day it is now, I feel confused about which time of year it is. Usually I'm dying for summer vacation to get here, yet it doesn't feel like summer vacation. The last day of school signifies so much: summer vacation followed by a start of a new school year. How that new school year begins has yet to be seen. The unknown of it all gets to me time and again.

The past 10 weeks haven't been a walk in the park, nor has today. Yet I look at my children's faces and I don't see the disappointment I so feel for them. Instead, I see happy faces who are excitedly talking about their day as if I wasn't with them through it all. These faces, currently covered in their end-of-the-year ice cream, don't realize the impact the last 10 weeks have had on me, our family, our family dynamic, and most importantly, our future. The future remains largely unplanned for us.

On the day when we were to be halfway to Texas by now (for our summer vacation, one that we're missing), I don't see the stress of the last 10 weeks. I see faces who had fun, who made memories and eased through it. I wouldn't have it any other way....but I'm totally taking another Corona as I prepare for our first day of summer vacay with (most) of the usual suspects. It's odd to think that on a typical last day of school I would be doing the same thing after the minis went to bed. It goes to show that there's always things you can count on despite what's happening in the world around us.