On sneakers … and closure

Our son and daughter are returning to their elementary school in a couple of weeks … but just for a few minutes.

We just received a long, multi-page plan of how each student (or parent) will be picking up their belongings and dropping off any school property. It’s been organized with military-level precision.

It made me burst into tears.

Each class has its own time slot — two teachers at a time, one set up in the cafeteria, with another set up in the gym. You must arrive during your class’s designated hour. Only three people and two staff members can be inside at any given point (social distancing, of course). Enter through this door, exit through that one.

Continue reading in my parenting column, The Mom Scene …

School’s not happening so now what?

Five and a half months.

That’s how long our kids will be out of school, assuming things re-start in September — and a September start is the one true, beautiful thing I refuse to stop believing in, so don’t burst my bubble.

I wasn’t surprised when they made the announcement that our kids wouldn’t be going back to school this year. (Although I would have gladly sent them if I’d had the option.) I had already told myself, weeks ago, to expect absolutely nothing in order to prevent further crushing disappointments.

Even so, once it was official — that there would be no return to school this term, and homeschooling would end June 5 — it was pretty depressing.

Continue reading in my parenting column, The Mom Scene …

Celebrating kids’ birthdays under quarantine

When our daughter started planning a huge slumber party to celebrate her eighth birthday, we never imagined it would have to be postponed indefinitely because no one could leave their homes or go to school — let alone squish into a single room together.

She cried at first, already devastated by how much she missed her teachers and friends. She cried again when she realized we also couldn’t have our usual 20-person family party with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

I reassured her we’d have both parties when we could — bigger and better than ever — but in the meantime, we’d still make sure she had a special “quarantine birthday.”

And you know what? It turned out even better than I’d hoped.

If you have a child (or, heck, a grown-up) who will be celebrating their birthday during the restrictions, here are a few tips that helped us throw our daughter a truly memorable birthday …

Continue reading in my parenting column, The Mom Scene …