It’s been 5 weeks and 6 days since we had Will’s birthday dinner. At his request, we went to his favourite restaurant and had an indulgent family dinner. I had just hours earlier cancelled my upcoming trip; the following day we would make the call to cancel my first big work gig in April; the family was still planning on leaving on their March break trip a few days later – though I was secretly skeptical that this would actually pan out. We kept the mood at dinner light.
Looking back, it’s like that scene early on in the sci-fi movie where the unsuspecting family walks out to their car all happy and oblivious and then gets stepped on by a t-rex.
We really had no idea what was coming.
Every few days, I wish we could go back to that being that oblivious. Or, maybe not oblivious. But to having our blinders on and thinking along the lines of “what’s the worst that could happen?”
Essentially closing the world didn’t even cross my mind because how could it?
My close friends and I all seem to agree that we are on this weird cycle of having 3-4 good or normal-ish day, followed by a day where everything just goes off the rails. No real reason why, it just does. Spectacularly.
I suppose that it is comforting to know that I’m not alone on this shitty, rickety roller coaster.
I want my money back!
We are now starting week 3 of “distance learning”. I refuse to call it home schooling anymore because, let’s face it: this ain’t school, folks. But, we’re managing and finding our system and our rhythm. I have to say that we have some great teachers and support to to help us.
That said, I really feel for these kids, especially the younger ones. This is a lot to ask of them. Using effective time management, being self-directed, finding that motivation, taking initiative… I can barely pull it together to achieve those things. So, try doing it when you’d rather be rolling down a grassy bank or spacing-out, only vaguely listening to the teacher but you do it anyway because, well, that’s school and your socks are bugging you and you want a snack and math is hard anyway.
They miss assignments, which means I missed the assignment and now somehow I feel like I’m thrown back to 6th grade and forgetting to hand in something because I/they/we missed it in the melée of Fresh Grade, Emails, Google Class, Zoom… I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m going to accidentally upload Anja’s math homework or Will’s PE logbook to the Tri Can website by accident one of these days. At least it will be in French.
It’s no wonder I signed off a Zoom call a few weeks ago by blowing a kiss at the screen.
It was a work call, not Zoom cocktail hour.
The kids are more tired than usual (and I am, too). Emotions are running high and things tend to flare more quickly. I know that the constant togetherness is tough on them. In fairness, they have been, generally, really good — which, in this house, means fighting, playing, bickering, creating, ignoring… etc etc. Nothing really new.
That said, this quote from one of the kids sums it up succinctly: “Don’t take this the wrong way. I really love all you guys, but I’d really like to hang out with people I’m not related to.”
So yeah. Like I said. We’re adjusting.