Each weekday morning I rise at 7:30, and though this ritual is easier and later than my pre-COVID wakeup call – ya know, when my children were actually in school, as in face-to-face with teachers, friends and early-morning buses to catch – the moans and groans that come with facing the day are the same.
I brew my first cup of coffee and scan news until I have to wake my middle child at 7:55 so he can mad-rush make it to his first Zoom class of the day which starts promptly at 8 am.
Once my son is settled at the kitchen table, clarinet at the ready – he’s in second-year band – I sip my coffee and continue reading about the state of the world while watching the clock.
At around 8:15 I’ll hear the tell-tale sounds of my ninth-grade daughter stumbling around upstairs as she completes her morning routine. She soon makes her way to the kitchen to prepare herself a large water bottle and some fruit, but not before she kisses me good morning.
Next, it’s back up the stairs to her bedroom she goes to record herself practicing Yoga or completing five minutes worth of morning exercises for her first-period physical education class. Then it’s on to drawing and sketching for art class.
All Around the Clock
Around 8:30, I log in to my first-grade daughter’s Zoom class and head upstairs to wake her. In sleep, she’s groggy and beautiful and the rousing is rough. But eventually, I get her moving, helped along with snuggles and kisses, and she’s soon headed downstairs to the dining room with tousled hair and unbrushed teeth to attend 8:40 storytime with her other tiny classmates. She rests her head on her hand as she sips milk and watches and listens to a book over YouTube.
The days of virtual schooling are new to all of us, but we’re slowly making our way and have fallen into a groove – albeit with the occasional hiccup. We’ve learned that times are important and, as such, our days revolve around them.
We have to keep up with when each child’s Zoom class meets, when our assignment deadlines are due, lunchtimes and more, all while fitting in the daily teatime that’s so important to my husband’s Moroccan culture.
Truth be told, daily sit downs with the kids for lunch and tea have been an unexpected but welcome benefit of virtual schooling.
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