This was a big week! We all started back to school! Aaron and my first students’ first day of school was Monday. It is so crazy normally but super crazy with all the Covid stuff added and to top it off our school switched to a new student information operating system, and none of us really know it well yet. In our school, kids had the choice between online and in person and now that school started kids who signed up for online want to be in person, and kids who are in person want to be online and no changes are allowed. Parents are upset because they can’t enter the building, teachers are stressed and underprepared and there are so many emails, texts, voicemails about how to access online learning among a million other questions. On the first day I couldn’t count the number of kids I met with but the good news is I survived my first day of the 2020-2021 school year!
Even though all faces were masked, my heart was full seeing my kids again! We really missed each other! Through my conversations with them, there is a lot of excitement, happiness, hesitation and fear but I think overall they are happy to be with other people again.
This whole season and process is so strange for everyone! I’m so blessed to walk through our crazy life with these kids! This week I was so tired from so many hours of work the weekend prior to school starting and all the extra hours during the week. I averaged about 4 hours of sleep for the week. I decided after this week that I am making a rule for myself this school year, not checking my email at home in the evening. I want to continue the peace we found while being home from COVID and keep practicing the slowness. Addie must have noticed that I was stressed because she did a couple of sweet things for me this week! One day she left me an encouraging message on the message board that I have been leaving messages on for them and then another day she called me at work just to tell me she wanted to encourage me and tell me what good job I was doing and to remind me that I was strong and could make it through the day! It was the sweetest thing… I am so blessed by her!
On Wednesday the kids had their first day! The kids were so excited and they looked so cute! We had an early release day at work on their first day so we surprised them and picked them up and took them to celebrate with a $.99 cone at TCBY, they have this every Wednesday! Something we didn’t do all summer! They sang nothing but praises about school and they couldn’t wait to go back for more! At their school they are expected to wear masks most of the day with the exception of when they are facing forward in their desks while the teacher is teaching. The rest of their week went very well.
This week I heard many people making bets on how long school will be in session before being shut down. There are not many optimistic about being in school for a full year. I think we will have periods of being in person and online. The numbers in our county and state are rising again just after one week of kids being in school. We will see!
About midweek while we were having a peaceful dinner outside we heard some squealing from under the trampoline. Bella found a bunny nest. There were three of them. She hit one with her nail on her paw and it had a scratch on it’s leg. We covered them back up and put things around the nest to protect them. The next day when we checked on them, one of the babies was dead and it was obvious the mother did not return. After this of course the kids wanted to save them. They were very hungry and looked malnourished so we made little home for them and did some research on how to best nurse them back to health and get them to a point to release them. We got them the milk that was suggested and started feeding them. They were doing well but the one would refuse to eat after a day or two. That one died later in the week but the third one is going strong and gaining weights and getting more active and strong.
This weekend Parker said he had a sore throat but he didn’t have a fever or anything but by tonight (Sunday) night he has a sore throat, low grade fever, headache, congestion, sore neck and said he couldn’t taste anything. We know at this point we will not be able to send him to school because of the new guidelines. If the kids have any symptoms they cannot go to school and have to stay home for 10 days unless they have an alternate diagnosis. We are thinking that we will call him in and take him to the clinic to see if maybe it is strep throat. I had to think after only 3 days of school he will miss 10 days of school! The only other option is to send him to school sick and hope they don’t notice but that’s not happening! I can see the situation that parents are going to be put in this school year. I think a lot of kids will be sent to school sick. I am worried about how this will play out with Parker.
Final thoughts and challenge: Looking back over this week it seems like a blur! There were so many stressful moments and so much to take care of. It was extremely taxing to go from a chill calm schedule with no hustle and bustle to BAM stress slaps me right in the face. The strangest thing is how I didn’t even miss a beat, it was like second nature for me to get right back into the swing of things. I am planning to keep our evenings as slow and calm as possible. We are still planning to stay at home as much as possible anyway but I don’t want to lose the focus that we have been able to have in the past 150 days!
What have you learned during COVID that you hope to continue after life starts to get back to the face paced craziness? Will you make space for family time and slowness?