End Of the (School) Year


 My social media is filled with proud parent posts.  Graduating from pre-k, elementary, middle school or high school.  Anxious posts about the weather since ceremonies are still predicated on the weather.  In my little town, the posters with photos of graduating seniors fill the front lawn and chairs have been placed on the field.  (The same field that I walked across nearly [but not actually] 40 years ago!)  On my morning walk I see lawn signs and balloons congratulation students.  It is definitely the end of the school year.

And what a year it has been.  While last year was crazy, at least we got in September through the first week in March before everything went to hell in a handbasket.  During the 2019-2020 school year there were sporting events, concerts and plays.  Kids ate together at lunch.  For those 6 or so months, life was the way it always was (but never will be again.)  This year the only constant was change.

The year started all remote.  Then there was the opportunity to go in for part of the day as one of three groups.  Then the groups went to 2.  Then there was the opportunity to go in for a full day, but lunch had to be outside and if it rained then kids had to go home and stay home for the afternoon classes.  Then it changed to if it rained you had to go home, but you could come back.  The cohorts went from three to two to finally one.  And the form that you had to fill out before your kid could physically go to school no longer had to be filled out for every day of attendance; just once a month.  How did ANYONE manage to stay sane during this year?

I give credit to EVERYONE who managed to navigate this year:  the teachers, the parents, the kids, and everyone else who I didn't mention but should because there are so many people.  So many people had to do so much with so little this school year.  We talk about pivoting on a dime; this school year was more about pivoting on a pinhead.  But we did it.

Summer is officially here.  This summer looks a little bit (dare I say it?) normal.  Or should I say normalish?  Summer camps are a thing again.  Families can travel (no comment on the issues with airlines).  My son has a summer job. (Hoorah!)  I don't think that would have been possible last summer and even if it was, I don't know how comfortable I would have been with that.  I've planned a short summer vacation (working around his work schedule).  Yes, we are going back to Skytop Lodge just like we did last year.  Only this year we won't need to wear masks.  (Let's hear it for vaccinations!) 

We're ending this school year in a normalish way.  We're not going back to "the way it was."  That is not possible.  Hopefully what we are going towards is something better.  Something similar to what we once had, but with more compassion, understanding and flexibility.  

I don't want to forget these past two school years.  As crazy and chaotic as they were, they are part of our history.  This has been a unique part of history that hopefully our descendants will not have to experience.  (However, I am not counting on that.)  As the 2020-2021 school year comes to an end. I am grateful for what we were able to do and accomplish.  As we walk towards a new year, I hope that we are able to establish a new normal; where things are sort of the same, but not quite.  Where we take the parts that worked and improve on them and throw antiquated "norms" away.  By doing so, we can look back on this time and say:  we learned.

 

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