A blog about new beginnings, the elasticity of time, and wise words to live by. Back to school in the time of coronavirus.
Crazy things kids say
A few years ago, I wrote a post documenting the funny and crazy things my kids said when they were young. I submitted it to Huff Post and they only went and bloody published it!
Last week, as I was reaching the end of my latest journal – 800 pages of rambling, mostly about coronavirus – I noticed a couple of pages at the back, containing kids’ quotes I had written down years ago and forgotten all about.
I read them aloud to Mr Maven and we both cried with laughter.
This is my favourite:
Mr Maven: “I need to get a present for Eileen’s 50th birthday.”
Me: “What do you get the woman who has everything?”
The Teen (then age 2): “A ladder.”
And this one:
The Teen (age 3): while staring out of the car window on a long journey: “When you and daddy got married, where was the car?”
There were several more quotes about bodily functions which would be unfair to share, now that The Teen is on social media and very possibly reading this in horror. [If you are reading: I love you sweetheart, when you’re older you’ll be glad I recorded these memories.]
Today, the Tween started secondary school. He excitedly walked to school with a group of friends to start a new chapter.
Just as the end of Primary School was extraordinary this year, this isn’t the high school beginning that we’d hoped for. For a start, he walked to school wearing a face mask.
This term my boys’ paths will not cross while they’re at school, because they will be in bubbles in different buildings, with separate canteens.
Other changes to secondary school life include no contact sports, assemblies delivered via video link and all students facing forward rather than sitting in groups. There will be obsessive hand washing and sanitising.
But for all that, I am so glad that they’re going back to school. I was not cut out to be a teacher as this post attests to. My kids did the BFM (Bare Fucking Minimum) when it came to homeschooling last term, mainly due to my slack parent-teaching. It was unsustainable.
The new normal
Life isn’t back to normal yet, but it’s slowly getting there. The Teen returns to school on Monday and Mr Maven will be commuting to work a couple of days a week from mid-September. It’s going to be very weird on my own in the house again, not having to cater five family lunches a week. Bring it on.
The elasticity of time
Time is strangely elastic, isn’t it? The beginning of lockdown, with its emotional turmoil, feels like an eternity ago. But how is it possible that the Teen will be taking his GCSEs in under two years?
I have the answer: The days are long, but the years are short.
It’s trite to say ‘make the most of every day.’ If you’d said that to me during those terrible home-schooling days, I would have told you to go to hell. I can only get to the end of days like those and be grateful they’re over. I wish I’d handled them differently and may yet get the chance to do it all again – only better.
One day at a time
‘One day at a time’ feels like more practical advice to live by. I said this to a candidate yesterday. She was worried about how next week’s interview would impact on her life in three months’ time. My advice was focus on next week and the weeks and months after that will take care of themselves.
None of us really knows how Coronavirus will evolve over the Winter. Even the experts contradict each other. All we can do is deal with those things we can control – the steps we can all take to stay safe – and hope that our fellow citizens will do the same. I hope to review this post on the first day of school next year and wonder at how different life was. And how amazingly resilient we all were.
How are you feeling about the start of the school term, or going back to work? I’d love to hear from you. If your kids said hilarious and crazy things during their early years, share them in the comments. I could do with a laugh.
Much love, Vx