It’s a Zoom Graduation!
Updated: Apr 1
*Disclaimer: Mad respect for all you home-schooling moms out there. And for those called to teach too. It’s not how I’m wired. I was a liberal arts major for one year of college when a job tutoring middle-schoolers forced me to realize that I just don’t have the patience for little learners in a school setting. I’m so glad there are others that excel in this field!
Today was Crosley’s first day of “real” school and were all pretty excited about it. She’s been in TK since August, but it’s the first time she’s been allowed to enter the classroom. First time she met her “zoom friends” and first time she’s ever sat at a school desk.
Her teacher, the incredible, full-of-enthusiasm, and endlessly patient Mrs. Wavra, did a great job preparing the kids on what to expect. Cros knew exactly what to do. Jump out of the car, get her dollop of hand sanitizer, sit in her number 11 chair, and keep her mask on all day (except when I need a drink or snack, Mom).
But no one prepped me for how I’d feel today! I didn’t cry when I left 3-month old Crosley at my parents for Blake and I’s first weekend away. I didn’t cry when I dropped her or Blythe off with a sitter when maternity leave ended. And I didn’t cry when they started pre-school either. But today. Today was different.
Today felt more like a graduation from a sad time to something unknown but full of excitement and education and growth!
I cried because, even in this joyful morning, my heart was broken at the sight of everything she’s been missing.
Crosley didn’t deserve the last year of forced lockdown, robbing her of this exciting day back in August, and every day since when she should have been surrounded by kids her age, and an engaged and bubbly teacher looking over her shoulder, correcting her backwards S, and reminding her to keep her glue on the paper and crayons off the floor. She didn’t deserved a tired, angry mom that didn’t sign up for this and definitely was not called to be a homeschool teacher.
But that’s what happened. We were forced to either become the teacher or enlist grandmas and daycare workers to pick up the weight that our public system dropped.
So we sat with our kids, and we fought to be both caretaker and teacher in the most mentally straining time of our lives. And also the IT department. And the grader of papers. And the classroom custodian, the lunch lady, the patience and the entertainment, every day trying to keep them interested in a screen that lost its pizazz many months ago.
On most days, I plead with Crosley, please just sit down and finish your work so you can play! And it’s rarely with that kind of Magic School Bus excitement that Mrs. Wavra has. Cros has picked up on my tired sarcasm, and I lose my cool often (Blythe found her dry erase marker and colored all over her pretty bed and who can I even blame for that?). So yeah, it hurts when I’m having a rough day trying to keep Crosley focused on finishing her schoolwork and Dad gets home for lunch, and Cros jumps up and runs to him screaming DAD IS HOOOOME!
It’s not exciting when Mom walks in the room. Because Mom’s there all the time, and Mom probably isn't happy about something that’s out of her control.
There just hasn't been much of that absence makes the heart grow fonder stuff.
But today. TODAY! Today I got to be the one Crosley flamboyantly waved goodbye to. And then I got to be the one she flashed the biggest, most excited smile to when she saw our car pull up to the gate. She couldn’t wait to tell me all about her day. Because I wasn’t with her all day!
I got to be the good guy again. The excitement! The only one in the carline she was looking for. MY MOM IS HEEEEERE!
And I cried then too. Because we’re all having the best day ever! And I forgot about that feeling.
And then she said “my teacher didn’t even echo today!” And my eyes teared up some more. May we never use the word “zoom” ever again!