This day last year, March 12th, at around this time, I remember listening to the radio and bursting into tears when it was announced that schools would be closing for two weeks. It felt dramatic and scary and surreal and as we all know, it went on for a lot longer than two weeks.
It feels fitting that exactly a year later, I’m finishing the final moments of home-school with my 9-year-old, who along with my 11-year-old, will go back to school on Monday.
I’ve just quit Teams, logged out of Zoom, and closed the Word doc on which I keep the SeeSaw codes, and with the end just minutes away (please let it be the end) and on the one year anniversary of that most surreal announcement, I can think about the things that made me grateful and glad and sometimes even happy over the last twelve months.
I’m grateful for donut deliveries. I’m glad the weather was often good, especially in the early months. I’m grateful for the huge stash of Beanos a friend gave us and the books from neighbours. I’m grateful to teachers who must be hoping they never see SeeSaw again. I’m grateful that I could move my work hours to avoid the farce that was home-schooling and writing at the same time during round one. I’m grateful for WhatsApp and the chats with my friends and my sisters. I’m glad we rediscovered our waffle maker. I’m grateful for class Zooms this time round and the connection with school. I’m grateful that baked breakfast goods exist.
Now that we’re nearly there, I can admit that I’ve enjoyed easier, slower mornings and the break from school lunches. I’ve enjoyed no homework for the primary kids and going to the Pier for a walk on sunny afternoons. I’ve enjoyed the extra time with my youngest and secretly, at times, enjoyed being his stand-in teacher (Universe, please don’t take this as any kind of hint that I want to do it ever again after this week.) And I love when he comes around the table for a “power-up hug” before he does his next assignment.
But most of all, I’m glad, and grateful, and happy (for them, and for my book deadline) that on Monday they go back.
This time last year, we were saying “we can do this” while thinking “can we do this?” and now finally we can move to WE DID IT.