Yesterday we heard the news that school will be closed for the rest of the year. That means from March 16 to June 22 we are homeschooling, using BCPS provided curriculum. Total time that we have no activities available for the kids as of today: 6 months and two weeks. That means no school, no summer camps, no Magic club, no sports, no Sky Zone, literally nothing to do outside of the home. We anticipate that "at some point" some of these non-school entities will be open again, but as of today, there remains a yawning span of primarily at-home activity.
So how am we doing? I honestly kind of prefer this. I love having this time with the boys, and I see them thriving without all the hustle bustle and peer pressure of school. We have hit a groove, where we all work during the day (them on school, me on... work) and then around 4, we all ease into the evening after a nice long walk.
Hambone has reduced his hours to 4 days/week, and he doesn't set a morning alarm anymore. My work is finally letting up, so I have less work overall to do.
As a family, we are having long conversations about things like "Why do people get married" and "What were you guys like when you were kids" and "Tell us about some of the jobs you used to have" and the connection between all four of us has never been stronger. We're like an old timey farm family from the 1800s, but with Amazon, Michaels' delivery, Pizza delivery and Instacart. We have never had this level of connection in our family.
When everything starts back up again, I will grieve the end of this time together.
Is it stressful? I'd be lying if I said no. The stress comes out in strange ways -- Hambone had the hiccups for three days (DAY AND NIGHT), and I have been eating frosting and marshmallows like I've just been released from Weight Watchers. My back spasms at night. My breathing is noticeably shallower, and so on. But it's not because of the time with family, it's because of the insane news cycle swirling in the background.
We are waiting to hear about school in the fall. As of today I am certain that even if schools open again I won't send Hamslice and I am on the fence about Little Ham. Home school has been a godsend for Hamslice (even with an admittedly bumpy start) and I am unconvinced that this virus mess will be resolved by fall. We've been talking at home that our boys may never see the middle school again -- the next time they go to public school may well be as high school students. This would be fine with me.