Monday, March 30, 2020

We are not all in this together

For all the news stories about how we are all in this extended quarantine together, there are still parents planning family gatherings and letting their kids hang out with friends.

The girls see social media images of their friends hanging out at each other's homes, having sleepovers and parties. They are mad that we won't let them make plans.

What's great about their closest friends is that their parents won't let them go out either. The old saying that there is strength in numbers is true. 

Even if they did get together, there was no place to go. All the restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, etc. were closed. 

A friend said some people were not taking it seriously because they didn't know anyone who was sick or died yet. I'd like to think that once they knew someone, those families would change their behavior and work to keep us all safer. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. I guess we'll see as time goes on.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Let's not repeat this Spring Break

We decided to do some early Spring cleaning during Spring Break. We told the girls that we'd like to get it done now since we couldn't really go anywhere. 

It was a crummy Spring Break. Really, just terrible.

Even though we let them sleep in and tried to give them extra free time, Spring cleaning was not anyone's idea of a fun Spring Break. It kept everyone busy, which was the point. It created a sense of accomplishment when it was done. It wasn't Amelia Island, though. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Spring Break delayed

The first week of eLearning actually went pretty well. The girls were disciplined about doing their homework every day. There was some confusion about grading, which worked itself out by Friday.  Teachers could count grades that helped the students, but not grades that brought down a student's grade. This meant that the lowest grade a student could end up with was the one in the grade book on March 13.

The girls' teachers ended the week by letting the classes know that students who did all their work would receive extra credit. It was a thank you for all the students who completed assignments.

After the first week, the girls were on Spring Break. We had planned to go to Amelia Island, Florida. We watched as cities and states essentially closed down. We cancelled our plans due to Covid-19. 

We had a big surprised planned for the girls. At the end of Spring Break, Daddy was not going back to his retirement job. He was going to stay home for the summer and find something else to do when the girls went back to school. We told them right after he came home from his last day at work. They were very excited. After a long, crazy week, Daddy deciding to stay home with his family was welcome news.

Friday, March 13, 2020

What comes next?

There were warning signs everywhere, so no one was really surprised when Governor Pritzker closed all the schools this afternoon. The girls spent the school day practicing for eLearning. Luckily our school district planned for eLearning days earlier in the school year. 

We had been watching what was happening in China, Italy, the U.K. and other places. We saw the devastation Coronavirus was causing in other places. We knew it was serious and needed to be taken seriously.

In the days since the NBA suspended its season, the country starting shutting down. The NHL suspended its season. Live theaters suspended productions. Movie theaters closed. St. Patrick's Day celebrations were cancelled. Park districts, museums and zoos cancelled all programs. Suddenly the shelter in place edict was easier because there was no place to go.

As we talked about the shelter in place order, it was very unsettling. Everything was changing so quickly. We read as much as we could about keeping a schedule, focusing on different activities, staying connected, and allowing everyone to move through different emotional stages as reality started to set in. 

Daddy and I talked about the girls' schedule. What was important? We wanted them to go outside every day for fresh air and exercise. We wanted them to get enough sleep. We talked to them about doing something creative every day. It all sounded so practical when we sat at the dinner table.

Later all I could think was "What comes next?" It was the big question we'd have to answer together during the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Before and after

We were watching the Hawks hockey game first intermission program when the personalities started talking about how two NBA basketball teams were pulled off the floor just before their game started. The referees then evacuated the stadium. We heard that an NBA player tested positive for Covid-19. 

We weren't sure exactly what that meant for the NBA or other leagues. It was a chilling announcement, though. 

By the second intermission, the NBA had suspended the season. There was a great video of Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban learning the news during a game. His shocked reaction went viral.

Something big was happening and we were living it in real time. We didn't know exactly what it meant, but we knew that things were about to change quickly. It was a moment we'd always remember as the end of what we knew as normal times.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Youth and Government

Shortly after school started, the brunette twin came home and announced she was going to join Youth and Government. She was very excited about the program. 

There were several planning meetings. She was required to wear business clothes. She enjoyed working on her topic. She found other students working on similar topics, so they all collaborated. 

She decided she wouldn't do it again next year while she was packing. She decided that she wanted to try Model U.N. We told her to try and have fun any way. She got on the bus at 6:30 a.m.

The next time we saw her was Sunday night. She arrived home with a huge smile on her face. The brunette twin had story after story after story after story about the weekend. She had so much fun. We were so very happy. 

Now she wants to do it again as a junior. She's already making plans with her roommates to room together again. There's nothing better than watching your child find something that makes her so happy.