Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Quiet weekend, stressed ending.

We are really fortunate that we have grandparents who are able (and willing) to take all four of our kids for two nights and it is SO great. It really is the best part of the summer. Its a little different this year since we can't do much, but we did go out a bit. 
On Saturday night, Matt was supposed to go to a cabin with his friends but decided to not because we were in the path of rather strong storms and he didn't want to camp in that. It was probably good he didn't because the storm WAS pretty intense. I'm a storm lover so it doesn't scare me much but I definitely don't want to camp in it! Since he was home and we had some time before the storms, we drove to Gordy's in Cloquet for dinner. It's a locally "famous" place and I've only gone a few other times, and it's always pretty good. We were fortunate to go early enough so we didn't have to wait long, and it was a pretty nice dinner out together. 
On Sunday we decided to try a pizza place in Duluth that is coming to Superior later this year, because I'm a fan of pizza, and it was pretty good. 
We also took a drive up Skyline Parkway and it was pretty nice out. Windy, but beautiful anyways. That bridge is one (of three) that connects Minnesota and Wisconsin over Lake Superior. We go over it so often we kind of forget how big and pretty it is. 
Can't forget the lift bridge, either. I kind of miss being able to be touristy and walk around. We drove through Canal Park and what a nightmare. Zero social distancing and as busy as I have ever seen it. Needless to say, we didn't get out. We ended up going to pick the kids up and coming home. 

When I came home I printed the plan our school district for the fall. I started picking through it and sigh. I knew this year was going to be difficult and I'm ready for it. (I think) The plan options (as of today) are a hybrid or all virtual model. The hybrid is what we are looking at, but the schedule is kind of wonky and confusing: 

Lucy: She would go to school two days a week and it would be Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. Which isn't the worst, but she also has speech therapy with an IEP, so I'm not sure how that is going to work for her.

Penelope: She would go to school four days a week, and it would be Monday/Tuesday AND Thursday/Friday. On Wednesday she would be doing a virtual learning thing on a district issued tablet or something. 

Olivia & Jackson: They would only be in person two days a week, and the other three would be virtual. They would be scheduled for Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. They would get a district issued laptop. 

Unless of course we choose an all virtual option for the kids, then they would still get the district issued technology, but wouldn't be in person at all. I know that Lucy and Penelope are going to struggle with a virtual option, and frankly, Penelope doing virtual on Wednesday is going to be a joke. I could barely get her to sit in front of a computer this spring, but to get her to talk or participate? Get out of here. Lucy just thinks its fun time. 

Olivia and Jackson can do virtual just fine, I'm fortunate there. They'll go up to their rooms, shut the door, and do their thing. I don't know how I would manage Penelope with Lucy running around, trying to help, doing her screeching thing, etc. I can't send Lucy to her room for hours, I don't have anyone to help me. Then I think about my friends who work, what are they supposed to do? Is the expectation that someone in their house quits their job to basically teach? I mean, how many jobs would be flexible with this kind of schedule?? The other side of the coin is the safety of everyone? Face masks are not going to be mandated but "encouraged", though I think that might actually change and I hope they do become required. I feel like the best option for my kids is to be IN school but what happens if they get sick? If I get sick? Is it selfish of me to keep them home because I don't want to get sick? Is it selfish of me to send them if one of their teachers get ill? 

It's minor and stupid, but when I saw I couldn't walk Penelope or Lucy to their classrooms on the first day of school, I cried. I cannot imagine dropping either of them off at school on their first day and having them walk into a building alone, and have to navigate where to go. Even IF they knew the teacher's name, they WILL forget. Even IF they had an open house to see where they go, they WILL forget. I can 100% guarantee that they will both be sobbing and screaming at the door despite being completely excited and ready for school. Never mind staff trying to then separate them and bring them to where they need to go? NOPE. I guarantee those two will cling to each other. 

Then I think, what if we do virtual? I have no idea how to do that. I know people say "we have time" but no, parents have to know. Either option is going to be a change to people's lives, lets give people time to make arrangements. There are circumstances and hundreds of questions we all have and our school board can't have an answer to everyone right now or see around every corner. Not to mention Jackson would rather just do virtual and do I say yes? Or do I say no, I want you to try? I just feel like every choice I make is a terrible one. 

What is everyone else doing? 

I'm so stressed out about it all. 


Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm not a parent so I don't feel like it's my right to have an opinion. But I do worry about all my friends who have kids. It has to be so incredibly hard and I just hope you all are able to make it through.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Whew, that's a lot, and having four kids with mostly different schedules (whether you do all virtual or hybrid) has to be tough to figure out. I don't know what they expect families to do that have both parents or guardians working. My oldest niece and nephew still don't have a plan for their school. I think my nephew would be fine all virtual, but my niece did not do well this past Spring so it would be tough for her. It's a lot, and I'm sorry you and all the other parents of the country have to deal with all these changes. I feel so bad for the teachers too because it's not like they have much choice!