Just shy of one year since my kids have last seen the inside of a classroom, my kids will be returning to school next week.
Remote learning has been a struggle. From the early days of trying to establish a routine to changing techniques to keep my kids engaged, it has often felt like a losing battle. I kept telling myself that it won’t be forever, but I have also spent more time crying on the phone to the teachers (and principal) than all prior years of elementary school combined. The longer the year dragged on, the more it felt like a toll on our mental health.
We are now about six weeks into remote learning. We have experienced All Of The Mishaps, including: internet going out immediately before class starts, missing Zoom classes altogether, assignments not turned in, teachers getting dropped from the Zoom, not able to hear or be heard, not being able to log in, and saying things like “you must change out of your pajamas before class.”
Yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang. It was in the middle of “quiet time” in our house, so Autumn was napping and Theo was down in his basement bedroom. Ger and Quentin were out spending some time together at an arcade. I figured that it was an Amazon delivery, but when I looked at the live camera from our Ring, I saw that it was a neighbor kid with his bike. I went down to answer the door. Continue reading →
Theo was Star of the Week in his second grade class. Last Friday he brought home a “questionnaire” including describing favorite foods and family traditions. He also needed to bring in five photos. Continue reading →
I have said several times over the past week that “I am comfortable with my grief.” I feel like that was an important realization for me: that I know I am grieving, that I know that there will be things that catch me off guard and make me very upset, and that I don’t try to hide it or pretend that I’m ok when I’m not. I mentioned it to my therapist today when she asked me how I’d handled certain situations (like my birthday weekend). I told her that the tears flowed, but I let that happen and had my moment. Still working on the guilt though.
Like this week. I’ve been thinking about writing since Monday. And I felt guilty that so much of my writing has been centered around my grief for the past six-ish weeks. This is my space to record my life and remember things, and I was having guilt that I have hardly talked about my boys at all – that they have become a sideline to this ever-present grief. I made a small vow to myself to write about the other things in my life. But also had to remind myself not to feel guilty.
Theo’s behavior has been challenging as he exerts independence (I blame kindergarten). I feel like he is constantly trying to “outsmart” me and it is exhausting. He lost his TV privileges yesterday and went down to play in the basement and found him playing with the LeapPad. He gave me the big wide eyes and said “You didn’t say no LeapPad” – though I know he knew better. Fair enough – next time I will specify “no electronics.”
Quentin had his Fall program tonight. He LOVED being on stage – biggest smile on his face. Completely different from a program he had at 2.5 where he sat on the teacher’s lap the entire time. Looking at the group, I think he was one of the younger kids up there. His teacher has been one of my favorites of ALL of the teachers for both kids. She started the program by saying: “Parents, thank you so much for sharing your children with us every day – they are such a joy.” She has always comes across to me as someone who truly loves teaching kids.
Last kid on the right is mine.
Ger just told me that he might have to travel for work next week – a first in the five years that he has been with his employer. The timing sucks. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.