Coping and an Old Rope Swing
There are a lot of stories as to what the current coronavirus crisis is revealing about family life, society, the educational system, and our economy.
Here, Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library’s Jessica Martin reflects on what sheltering-in-place revealed to her, her husband and
Taken together, the details of Jessica’s day-to-day life and its meaning in the larger context of her life tells the story of an anxious, yet resilient, family life on “pause.”
For 13-year-old Gray and nine-year-old Silas life was transformed – the Blue Ridge School they attended closed, play dates and sports were cancelled. For 18-year-old Erick, who was at Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, at the onset, it meant not being able to share graduation with his family.
With the library shut down, Jessica remained at home, overseeing the online classes of Gray and home-schooling Silas. Husband Zach, a stonemason with his own business, continued to work outside the home. In one sense, the pandemic had reaped an unexpected benefit – access to the internet. From the onset, Jessica understood that setting a routine for her two boys was critical to establish normalcy and minimize anxiety – particularly for nine-year-old Silas, struggling to understand the disruption that surrounded him.
A rigid, Monday through Friday schedule was set in place. Following a family breakfast, classes began at 8:30 AM. Gray in the Google Classroom on his computer, Silas and Mom studying from the materials provided by Blue Ridge so that schoolwork could continue at home. At 10:30 AM, a 20-minute Snack Break, lunch at Noon, then two more lessons before school let out. On weekends with Dad at home, the family enjoyed the outdoors – whitewater kayaking, hiking, and trail blazing.
In between, the boys kept up with their friends through telephone calls and social media.
Certainly acclimating to the lockdown was hard, but it revealed a family closer together with a greater and deeper appreciation of each other.
Though Jessica returned to work at the end of May, the boys are still sheltering at home with grandparents and family, not knowing what the Fall 2020 Blue Ridge School schedule will bring. Meanwhile, Jessica and Zach yearn to see Erick soon and celebrate the graduation that never was.