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Change of Plans

So it’s 10:30 Monday night.


I’m tired, but I’m probably 75% finished with tomorrow’s post for the blog (which I had planned to write Sunday night for publication Tuesday, but I’m sure you all know how those things can go when these things are dependent on a teenager’s bedtime routine…) So I’m typing along… clickety clickety clickety.


But then I see an email on my phone. It’s from the school district.


Change of plans.


Tonight was the regular scheduled School Board meeting. The plan was to finalize a plan for the beginning of the school year… They’d been waiting on guidance from our County Health Department. Late last week they’d already emailed to let us know that we likely wouldn’t have a completely final plan yet as the health department was still working on that guidance.

But as of right now, they still haven’t released that guidance. So a new special meeting is happening next Monday night.


Okay, fine.


But what has happened? The local threat level went back up to its highest level. And that’s definitely going to impact the school district’s decision making.


Let me take a step back… Our county publishes the Covid-19 Compass Snapshot. Think of it as the Homeland Security Department’s color-coded threat level system, but for our current local virus situation.


They base the rating on current data from 3 categories:

1. Epidemiology data for the area

2. Status of healthcare in the area (things like availability of hospital beds)

3. Public Health Status

We were at orange, and now we're at red.


With this change, we expect to start the school year virtually and move into a modified schedule once things have been deemed safer.


I’m not here to debate whether or kids should be going to school or learning from home. I think ideally, most families want their kids to be in school learning because it’s simply more effective for the vast majority of our kids. But I also know we want to keep our kids safe and healthy—that’s our job as parents.


Of course, with kids like Nolan the issue is even more complicated. Of course the recommendations are that masks be worn. For most kids that’s not a problem… Meanwhile I’m over here trying to come up with alternatives. Will he try a face shield? Can I somehow put a mask on his headphones? I’m sure we could get some sort of medical exemption, but shouldn’t we still get him to at least try it? I mean, we have to do that with everything else, right? Will Kirk survive more virtual learning? Heck, will Nolan survive more time without the structure of school? We’ve already seen him lose (or at least get really good at ignoring) so many skills…


I genuinely worry about Kirk and Nolan through this. Kirk is up against some serious burnout (heck, I think most of us are, but the man's in a pressure cooker). And Nolan is so out of sorts—he just doesn’t know what to do with himself. Meanwhile, I’m an essential employee, so I’m not as much help giving the boys a break as I wish I could be. Heck, I’m not even working from home to be able to give Kirk ten minutes on a lunch break here and there. I know someone needs to pay the bills, but nothing makes this mom feel more useless than not being able to help in the way my boys need me the most.


And don’t get me started on people arguing about the whole thing… I honestly can’t even handle it right now. I’m not talking about civil discourse where people have an actual discussion and debate the topic while listening to the points the other is making before stating a counter point. That’s the way things get done and minds get changed. What I’m frustrated about are the arguments where people raise their voices to talk over someone else in an attempt to have their point heard before even finding out if they’re up against an opposing viewpoint. That shit is about to drive me to the level of Britney Spears in 2007.


At this point, I don’t have any solutions. I can’t offer any ideas (at least none that anyone will listen to…), and I don’t know how to make any of this easier for anyone—not even my own family.


All I can do is tell you all to hang in there. Eventually this will pass, and we’ll be stronger for having survived it.


And I can wish. I wish everyone would be respectful and listen to one another. I wish we could all find the break we need to recharge our batteries amid this current state of weirdness. I wish Nolan could find his happy place or at least a new way to keep himself occupied.


And I wish we could all find as much joy as a nearly-naked Nolan can find in a big ass bowl of salad.


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