Well, after a short delay, the school year is off and running for the kids. While so many schools around the country are offering hybrid options, our school offered two: full in-person 5 days a week or full virtual.
Coming from NYC and having what I would describe as PTSD in regards to Covid and social distancing and mask wearing, I wasn’t comfortable with the full in-person option (let’s be honest…I wouldn’t be comfortable with a hybrid option either), but after praying and talking about it with Ed, we decided the full in-person option would be best for our kids. Emotionally, academically, given our situation with me doing ministry and Ed working at Grace, moving to a new place, needing to make friends and put down roots here, and experiencing such intense isolation the last few months, not to mention how extremely difficult it was/is to do virtual schooling with 3 kids in school and 1 at home but not in school, we made a decision and are moving forward, even despite our fears. Had we been in NYC with community already, our decision would likely have been different. While not everyone will agree with our decision, and while we may not be 100% sure we made the right decision, I heard a pediatrician saying “There isn’t a right choice for everyone – pick one and move forward in confidence. That’s the best you can do as a parent.” So that is what we did/are doing. I commend any parent this year for making a decision for their family, instead of being paralyzed by fear and the what ifs, even if it isn’t what we have chosen – there is no right or wrong answer.
Their first week went great and I told Ed that if they only got these 4 days at school this whole year, it was worth it for how excited they were, making new friends, and getting out of the house. Emerson capped the week off with bringing home Student of the Week for Patience – she was the one chosen for her class. The smile on her face is so worth it all.
It is so interesting all the differences I noticed on the first day between NYC and SC. People always comment on it being different, and it 100% is, but on the first day of school, those differences were glaring. Here were a few I noticed:
- During drop-off and pickup, we noticed huge spaces between the cars while waiting in line and huge gaps between the cars when they parallel parked. In NYC, you could barely slide a kid through the cars while parallel parked OR waiting in line, as every single inch of space was used.
- I waited 45 minutes to pick them up the first day. In NYC, most parents walked or they parked their car and then walked up to the school. Carpool lines didn’t exist, at least in the sense of teachers bringing kids to cars.
- Ed and I noticed three girls going into the school commenting on their matching outfits. In NYC, they didn’t do matching outfits for siblings.
- The huge bows that girls were wearing. In NYC, you were immediately out of place if you wore them. And the monograms, everywhere. I was raised in the South so I am no stranger to the bows and monograms, but wow…
- Blake said anytime they walked anywhere, he was always in the back of the line for his class. I asked him why and he said it is because the girls have to go first. That, again, isn’t a thing in NYC – its a free for all…no southern manner of boys letting the girls go first.
Overall, our kids are such phenomenal troopers and are adjusting so well. The days of us missing NYC are getting fewer and further between (9/11 was a weird day for us as we have been in the city for it the last few years and in the city, its a very somber remembrance day). They are starting to make friends. We are starting to make friends. Things are starting to feel more “normal.”