Congratulations to ALL the graduates of 2020. It might not have been the way you expected, but I guarantee it will be one to remember. The entire world celebrated with you.
Congratulations to ALL the teachers who got into the teaching profession to share their love of learning, and continued to do so, virtually. I am sure you are more tech-savvy than you ever imagined you would be, but most importantly, thank you for doing everything you could for your students.
Congratulations to ALL the students who went from learning to organize their desk and classroom space, to learning how to use software programs like Zoom, Seesaw, Google Hangouts, and more. We are lucky that technology has advanced since the time you were born and was able to keep up with all these changes. You are now more tech savvy than your parents.
Congratulations to ALL the parents who oversaw their children transition from the physical classroom to home-as-a-classroom-which-is-not-meant-to-be-a-classroom. Your daily routine has not only been dramatically altered, but you became a homeschool parent as well. Add that to your resume.
Congratulations to ALL of us for surviving the past 3 months.
3 months. An entire season. Spring. We quarantined in our own homes, we did not see loved ones, we worked from home, we were laid off, we waited in lines to get into the grocery store, we stocked up on toilet paper, we wrote with chalk on the sidewalks for strangers to see, we learned to use Facetime to connect with people, we cooked, we ordered take-out, we watched movies, we gardened, we started new hobbies and projects, we slept, we stayed in pajamas, we gained weight, we did housework and cleaning, we checked the news too often, we joined social media, we played board games, we cancelled vacations, we celebrated birthdays, we went for walks, we exercised through a computer screen... the list goes on. We did it with the ultimate reward of our health and safety, and it was worth it.
On the surface, your past 3 months looks different than mine, but deeper underneath, we all went through the same experience, together.
We survived a pandemic.
Now we enter summertime. And so far it looks like restaurants re-opening for social distance outdoor seating, summer camps re-opening for 3-week smaller group sessions, businesses re-opening and operating with masks and gloves, beaches and parks re-opening for the public, and full-service hotels re-opening for vacationers. Even Disneyland is re-opening in July.
But where each of us stand is now dependent on our tolerance of risk. Some people are gathering with friends. Some are sending their kids to school. Some are going back to work. Some are taking off their mask. Some are trying to re-assimilate into normal life, and some will continue to strictly quarantine for the rest of summer.
Whatever your choice, I respect it. No one has the right answer so you do what you feel most comfortable with. I am nervous about my decision to listen to my 5-year-old's desperate request to go to basketball camp starting tomorrow. I am nervous about seeing a few friends for my hubby's birthday. I am nervous about how to celebrate Father's Day without spreading anything to my parents.
3 months later and still the same questions and concerns. Summer is usually a time where I look forward to our family vacation. Last year in June we went on a family reunion trip with 20 people on a Mediterranean Disney Cruise starting in Rome and ending in Barcelona. Good memories.
This year, summer looks like an inflatable wading pool on my deck that is equally enjoyable and stressful as I #1) inflated it by mouth, #2) cannot figure out the right/safest amount of chlorine, #3) don't know an easier way to warm up the water. Summer looks like less screen time especially for my 8-year-old who is burnt out from online classes. Summer looks like another 3 months where I can "attempt" to do all those things I didn't do the last 3 months.
Summer looks like eating outside and dancing in the streets.
Summer looks like playing pranks on my kids.
Summer looks like continued dance parties in my living room.
We've danced on Zoom for 3 months now, and even last week the random glitches and delays still happen. I'm looking forward to dancing in-person one day and seeing all of your faces. Hugs would be even better. But until then, come say hello. Dance with me. Dance with your community. Dance for you.