I sat on the sofa, between online meetings, reading and responding to the emails and texts that had come in since I’d last checked.
Claire stationed herself at the large square table next to the kitchen, plugged in her computer, and prepared to join her first online class since her university had closed. She wondered aloud how this online class would go, how any of them would go, what her last few weeks of college would be like. This wasn’t the ending she had imagined.
We were only a few yards apart. The first floor of our house is essentially one open room that used to be a hay barn, divided into sections, sort of. This week I’d begun to appreciate what it must feel like to work in an open-concept office space. Claire probably had too. She’d listened to her share of my meetings with admin and teachers over the last few days. A far different experience than chatting with her friends on the way to the library or lounging with her roommates after late-night study sessions. Far from what she had expected.
I looked up to see her adjust the tilt of the screen just as a voice emerged from her computer.
“Claire… I see you,” I heard her professor say, his tone steady, calm, friendly. I watched a smile spread over my daughter’s face as she looked at the screen of her computer.
“Hi, ” she replied.
“How are you? Are you safe? Tell me where you are and how you’re doing.”
And in that moment I knew everything was going to be just fine. Not what we had pictured. Maybe even better.