Holding It All Together-School Days Again

They must be doing something right there.  Both of my kids said they wanted to go back to school after today.  I did to them what my dad would always do to me after the first day of school.  I asked them all about their first day; what was it like, did they like the teachers, did they meet any new kids, did they have fun?  Then I threw this little question in there that my dad always baffled me with; “So, do you think you’ll go back?”

My dad always asked it with a straight and serious face, which threw me for a loop.  I thought, “you mean I have a choice?”  I would think about it for a couple seconds but always told him yes.  I liked school most years.  It wasn’t until Junior High that I had any trouble, and then only because I was being bullied by a few students.  But in general, I enjoyed learning and loved the challenge.

This year it is a challenge just to have school open.  I commend the teachers, staff, and administrators who have worked endless hours and worried and sweated and cried and laughed and bled to see that this school year would be as great as it could be.  I cannot imagine the headache involved in sticking to the ever-changing guidelines and regulations set forth by state and local authorities while trying to accommodate parents and students, teachers, staff, subs, and so forth.  In a regular school year this task is monumental, but a year like this with restrictions and extra care and cleaning; I salute all those who have made this school year possible for our families at Villa Grove Community School District.  We are ever thankful for your dedication, hard work, and loyalty to our children.

I asked my kids how today was different from a regular first day of school, and they told me this:

“It was really quiet.  I was glad we could be there with all of our friends, I really am.  But we had to keep our distance, and sit far away, so we couldn’t lean over and whisper secrets to one another like we used to in class.  Sometimes it was hard to breathe when I had to go from the first floor to the third floor between classes, but I just sat down and caught my breath slowly and then I was ok.  My mask didn’t bother me that much.  At lunch, we went outside and sat at the picnic tables, and that was nice.  Still we had to sit diagonal from each other so we were distanced far enough apart.  I liked it better last year, it was more fun.  But at least I could see my friends and it’s more fun than being at home the whole time.  I’m glad we are back in school.”

“I really like my new History teacher, he is super cool.  I’m glad I have classes with my friends.  I did ok wearing the mask and didn’t notice it much.  I liked eating outside at lunch.  The afternoon went by fast.  Last year was more fun because we talked more, but this year is ok I guess.  I like going to school because I can still see people and get out of the house for a while.”

And yes, they both think they will go back.  (As if they had a choice.)  I really hope that the school is able to go back to normal soon.  That is my hope and prayer.  

Until then, we will do what needs to be done, and we will overcome, because that is what Americans do.  We work together to figure things out, we help each other, we band together, and we lift each other up.  I am grateful to live in a community of kind-hearted, hard-working, God-fearing good people.  Thank you all.

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