I woke to a home smelling of coffee and a child already awake and excited. By 6:30 am, Pattu and I set out on a walk around the development. I walked slowly, savoring the chill breeze and the warm sun’s rays. Pattu was clearly thrilled. She jumped, skipped and danced as we wound our way past our neighbors’ home, past the local park and back home. We talked about what going back to school meant for her. She was happy for a chance to meet her friends, even if just virtually.
When we reached home, Laddu was already up and eating her croissant and Ammu getting ready for her breakfast. The morning was everything a typical back to school morning usually is. Excited chattering, brisk showers, outside clothes, pictures by the front door, pictures on the driveway and by our serviceberry tree.
By 9:00 am all three kids were on Zoom calls. They practiced net etiquette remembering to mute themselves. They wore headphones and spoke up when it was their turn. I hovered, monitored my calendar and alerted them when it was time for their next call. There were glitches in the system, there were near misses, there were times during the day I caught them yawning and goofing off while the teacher droned on the other side of the screen.
By 3:30 pm, they were done and so was I. If the first day, when there is very little actual learning to be done, was like this, I dread to think of how it will be as they progress into real learning, proper assignments and work that taxes their brain.
I have color coded charts to tell me which sessions are online and which ones are asynchronous. I have reminders set on my work and home devices. I think I am ready for what the school year has to bring. I cannot but help wonder when they will be back in an actual school.