There’s undeniably a fun atmosphere to school on Thursday, March 16, 2020. It’s like the last day of class before saying goodbye to a vacation, except it’s not a day off. However, it is a novelty.
At my children’s school – and all the time, both of my children were still in elementary school – we didn’t even bring books home. I was among those who thought it was actually going to happen in two weeks. Sure, it will be fine. I’m used to working from home, and we’ll be embarking on a kid’s schooling then in third grade, while a kid then in sixth grade has done his homework alone and it’s going to be epic. .
The novelty passed quickly, especially because the fear of the virus became so strong and so real. We are at home. Stay within 2km and then 5km; in our county, our country. On top of that, we were in the unit of whoever we lived with and, with luck, we made it a success.
My daughters’ school convened us to clean up the books after a week or so. The kids wanted to come along with the time given to us to deliver the erased books and copies back home.
The novelty has passed, but I am one of those who are still convinced they will be back in class soon. I kept hoping through the first session that they would get back together before the summer split, that the older one would finish her time in elementary school, but it didn’t happen.
She started high school in September, only going home for Christmas and not returning. In the second course, my spell is they will definitely be back before Easter. Apparently she wasn’t, but perhaps the denial served its purpose. If you’ve thought too far, the job of a pandemic parent is too much.
If they told us in March 2020 what would have happened up front, we were told we couldn’t do it.
At some point in the future, we will look back and ask ourselves how we did it. With keen awareness we will see the damage done, but in reality, it’s not over yet.
The difference between now and March 12, 2020, two years ago yesterday, is the lack of novelty and The fact that it seems impossible – locking your kids up for days at a time, staying in school, keeping yourself at work, keeping everyone healthy – is not unusual. And we are still doing it.
When the falling of the mask seems to have created a wave of Omicrophones – anecdotally at least, because the statistics really seem to have gone out the window too – there are probably more kids coming home from school than ever before.
Oh my God, the novelty is gone. Worse still, in my own home that was locked up with Covid last week, it seems that the children who are going to school now are the exception, while everyone at home is feeling unusual. The difference is that this time we have Covid, having dodged it for two years.
It reminds me of how moms with new twins sometimes long for a minor illness that requires a short hospital stay – not to get sick but just to get a complete break from the constant duty.
Last week, when Covid spoke to me, I discovered that the surprising thing about the latest pandemic is that the time it takes for the kids to get sick is more, not less.
But of course, this is how Covid has always worked. Just when you think you can’t do any more parenting, more people will come.
When the first of us tested positive, I didn’t question if we could do another chunk locked together. There aren’t any moments for you to follow about “how did it come to be?” or “I don’t think I can.” Not a single squeak was a snap feature on my first lock.
Maybe, because of illness, the brain doesn’t question the strangeness of isolation again, but it feels strangely natural. Please put an 11 year old in clothes, or at least change clothes to clean the PJs.
The daily quiz about what was for dinner. The homeschooling boom, with my slump as an excuse, has fallen to the curb. Sure, she’ll be home in the first half of this week anyway and we’ll catch up. Furthermore, as I realized with a groan of defeat a fortnight ago, they will be out of school on Thursdays and Fridays. Because, obviously, we all need more time together.
Of course, this shouldn’t feel normal, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a novelty. Parenting with a raging pandemic was something we adapted, step by step, initially not knowing how long it would take. Finally in sight now, right? And if not, I don’t need to know.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/covid-finally-hit-and-the-kids-being-home-felt-strangely-normal-41440390.html Finally Covid worked, and the kids at home felt strangely normal