Today was our first non-school day, nearly three months after being quarantined. It probably should have been more exciting and celebratory, but it wasn't. I think there several reasons for that.
First, when you go from being at home for school one day to being at home for summer vacation the next day, it doesn't feel that much different or special. Same house, same quarantine, no school. Not a lot to jump up and down about.
Second, I made a conscious decision to rid ourselves of all school-related reminders today. I had planned it at least a week ago and told the kids that we would be spending the day today getting organized and putting all our school stuff away. I knew that we would have to face it, sooner or later, so why not just get it out of the way. Honestly, I feel so traumatized just seeing any traces of the past three months around that I had to do it for my sanity. It took most of the day, on and off, to go through all their work, the school supplies that we had amassed, and all the stuff sent home from their teachers. It wasn't very fun, as you can imagine, so it didn't make for a festive first day of summer vacation, but at least it's out of the way.
That brings me to the third reason that today didn't feel very celebratory and that is it doesn't feel like the first day of summer vacation. It's the first day of no homeschooling, but not the first day of summer vacation or at least not what I think of as summer vacation.
We have never indulged in lavish summer vacations, mostly because of the logistics of having four kids and only one parent. That makes that logistics for a lot of traditional fun summer activities (travel, theme parks, and even the beach), quite challenging. Our first real family vacation was last summer to Hawaii and we had been a family at that point for 11 years. It was a long wait, but well worth it.
Given our situation, my needs for summer have always been simple. The kids went to camp most days, which. they loved. I too loved it because they weren't home all day. They had swim lessons a few days a week afer camp, which no one loved, but was a necessity. We would go to the beach, four to five times over the summer, which was a lot of work, but fun. And then last year we got to take that trip that we had been waiting to take for so many years.
We will not be doing any of those things this summer. If the restrictions ease up for the beach (like they allow to bring a towel, sit down, relax and not wear a mask) I suppose we might venture out and try that. Otherwise, we will be at home quarantined for the next 70 or so days, as we have been for the past 92 days.
Of course, I am grateful that I don't have to oversee the debacle, otherwise known as homeschooling, that nearly took me down over the past three agonizing months. I am grateful too, to be in a home with plenty of space and a yard and a pool. These are all things that will make it easier that I do not take for granted. But I still worry about how I will singlehandedly entertain four children for 10 weeks without leaving the house.
Tomorrow, we will be sitting down to a family meeting to forge a plan. We are going to research, brainstorm, and try to be as creative as possible. This will be phase II of our quarantine. I am holding my breath, hoping and praying that I can get through this phase more successfully than I did Phase I.
Catherine and Miles standing on the one remaining log left from our beloved grapefruit tree that had to be removed last weekend.
Garin looking less than thrilled at the prospect of our having to organize and clean out the homeschooling classroom today.
Just a few of the many stacks of homeschooling work we had to plough through and sort. I don't know how we got through it, honestly.
Catherine so generously helping me to organize Miles' homepreschooling supplies.
Sorting through all the art and work sent home by teachers. We found so many treasures and lovely memories prior to March 13th, when the kids were still in school.
We found this eerie note. Unbeknownst to us, this would be the kids last day at school. It was Friday, March 13th and was "Twin's Day" at Round Meadow, where Catherine and Graham attend. Finding it was disconcerting for me.
We were blown away when we found this gorgeous portrait of Frida Kahlo that Catherine did in her art class sometime earlier this year.
Fitzy took it easy and decided not to participate in our classroom clean-out.
Miles too , boycotted the classroom clean-out and opted to watch Sesame street instead. I got a lot of grief from the other kids later, that I let him off too easy because he's the baby and that he cries his way out of everything. I fear they might be right.
Dinner was yummy homemade chicken, noodle and vegetable soup with sourdough bread on the side.
An after dinner swim for my hard-working crew (except for Miles). Very much deserved!