It’s 7:00 a.m. on the first day of school for my 10th and 11 graders. In twenty minutes, they will be starting the first of many firsts. Many of which are still unforeseen. Back in the Spring I felt sad for them missing out on so many high school experiences that had once been normal. Now I am excited for them that they have the opportunity to do things differently and try things, like online school, that they never would have otherwise.
In the past six months I have learned to embrace what is thrown at me and make the most of it. I’ve come to accept that the “new normal”, might not be ALL bad. But it was a difficult road getting to this point.
Distance Learning shook me to my core this past spring. The kids were not prepared for it, the school district was not prepared for it and I was totally not prepared for it. It was daily chaos in our house with me logging on to the computers for my kids and trying to find a routine that worked for us. We never found one. What we did find was lots of screaming, crying and cursing. I am a people person, and not being around others on a daily basis hurt my Soul.
By May I was on the Struggle Bus big time and I hated everyone and everything. We had just moved into a new home as the pandemic started and things began to shut down. We were trapped in a house that didn’t quite feel like home yet and without furniture, because you know, the stores were closed. It was the kids and me living basically in our kitchen around the only table in our house. My husband’s schedule never changed. He still came and went to and from work and life went on for him. He couldn’t see the mental toll that being stuck at home 24/7 was having on me and the kids and I was angry.
We cancelled our dream vacation to Montana this summer because we were trying to do the right things. We didn’t have all of the wild and crazy pool parties that we had had planned on hosting at our new home and the kids couldn’t have friends over for campfires. Their sports were cancelled and Xbox and Netflix became their activities of choice. No weekend trips to the beach, no nothing…We’ve literally done nothing. We still have not been out to a restaurant since March…And you all know how much I hate cooking.
Time went on and throughout all of this, I began to gain an immense appreciation for downtime. Although there is nothing we love more than entertaining friends and family, it was nice not running myself ragged cleaning, cooking, and cleaning again, on a weekly basis. Not spending hours sitting at a baseball field, but instead lounging in my pool was welcoming. Having nowhere to go was dare I say it, nice. I never thought that I could be someone who successfully worked from home, but I am and I love it.
Back to today, the first day of school. As we embark on this adventure, I am optimistically hopeful. It is 8:21 now and my kids have both finished their first virtual class. There was lots of laughing and the teachers were positive that this was going to be a great year. I am looking forward to all of the first that this year will bring and thankful for all of the time that I have gotten to spend with my family over the past six months. I am beyond grateful that I have a job that allowed me to be at home with them and work through these new norms together.
Change is always difficult, and no one likes it, but it’s up to us to find the silver lining in each new challenge.