Who am I kidding? It’s been more than six months. Finding time for creative endeavors like writing has not been easy. For a brief moment at the end of the last school year and the start of this summer it seemed as if life, and school/work, would no longer be dominated by Covid. I did a few things that felt familiar and normal. I ventured occasionally into stores with my mask on my wrist rather than my face. With a mix of caution and excitement, I booked a flight to visit my daughter in October (a flight I am currently on, masked and feeling somewhere between mildly uneasy and desperate to breathe fresh air and not be in this crowded, closed space with hundreds of humans whose habits and vaccine status I do not know). My mother and I took a carefully choreographed trip to New York City.
And then Delta took hold and there was once again little that I did, thought, or made decisions about that wasn’t about Covid. The difference was, more than 18 months in, I was no longer running on adrenaline. The spring of 2020, when we all hunkered down, was about learning how to do school without being at school. It was novel and exhausting and strange but we knew summer was coming. We could see the goal post. Except summer wasn’t summer. There was no time to marvel in what we’d done, albeit imperfectly for the previous three months. Summer was 70 hour workweeks reimagining and rebuilding school so that we could pull off a miracle- in person and online school all at the same time for the 2020-21 school year. We dug deep, we persevered, we had grit. So much grit. We climbed Everest. Or so it seemed. And in June of 2021, we thought we’d reached the summit. We were ready to sit back, fill our glasses with something bubbly, and celebrate.
COVID had other ideas.
And so we continue upward. Navigating another strange year. Supporting young children, some of whom have now lived almost half their life masked, sanitized, and distanced. Too many of whom hold big worries rather than childish thoughts. Working with tired, stressed families who do not want to keep their child with sniffles home one.more.time. Avoiding network and cable news programs that leave one feeling more anxious than informed. Trying to create a sense of normalcy while keeping everyone safe.
We need vaccines for children. We need adults to get vaccinated. We need hugs and high fives and happy days. We need to see the summit through the clouds and to know that from here to there is a shorter distance than the climb we’ve made to date.