As a parent, our first priority is always our children, right? So when this pandemic started I faced so many questions. Should we still have that birthday party? Who do I consider to be a ‘safe’ visitor? Should I rather start shopping online?
Then schools closed early and soon after our country’s national lockdown began. To be honest, because of all these anxious feeling, I ended up not watching the news, not monitoring the positive cases hourly and not including “Corona” in all my conversations. What I DID do, was stock up on food, snacks and try to get into all sorts of new habits. All our lives changed and the catchy words of the Aladdin theme song jumps to mind – A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view.
My daily routine was completely capsized because of the many mouths I now had to feed at the strangest hours and the usually clean house in the mornings was a vague memory. My perfectly scheduled time was completely disrupted and not to mention the monumental task of homeschooling. Or rather, yes, let’s mention that! The sole responsibility of getting my 4th grader through term 2 was now lying squarely on my shoulders. Many times I whispered to myself “why could it not have been the first term”, it would have been much easier. But no, this was homeschooling at gale force. Geography, Sciences, History and last but surely not least the dreaded Maths. Although not required for Grade 4 maths, I did learn that a shape with 80 sides is called an octacontagon. You’re welcome.
On the other hand, my teenager, eager to eat and slow to assist in the kitchen did start to bake. As her skills improved she evolved into the “Chocolate-chip waffle queen”. Of course, this advantage does come with the calorie disadvantage of which there is a bit too much evidence. Hours and days became hazy and this teenager would sleep until late mornings, slowly coming out of her slumber in the kitchen only to have a very active ‘social’ life via whatsapp video calls until midnight. Schoolwork is done while watching Netflix and I suppose this is equivalent to me and my inseparable ‘stereo’ during my own schooldays oh so many moons ago.
While there have been ups and down I can say that through it all, lessons were learnt both great and small. I learned that it is possible to wear pj’s as ‘work clothes’, earphones and Webex is a vital lifeline and yes, I definitely love the teachers a little bit more!
This morning as I watched the same Gr4 –previously homeschooled student, get ready for real school while proudly wearing his mask, I realized that it truly is a whole new world indeed.