By Judy McIntyre
I am back! I took a “Stay-cation” –a Vacation at Home! And I fished and fished and fished! And I caught a lot of crappie, catfish, and pesky bream. My Stay-cation was a success! The crappie have moved out to the deeper water. Time to move on and let the crappie rest.
Today, I wanted to share with you a “truth” I learned, not by watching the lake, but by listening to a story about my youngest grandchild, Henry. Henry lives in New Hampshire. He is still waiting for spring! Henry goes to public school kindergarten, and his school system shut down because of the Corona Virus. The school had a plan to continue his education. His teacher continues to send weekly packets home for Mom to teach Henry. My daughter began to prepare Henry that the bus would not be picking him up anymore and that school would take place at home. He was not pleased. Henry is very sociable, and the idea that he would not see his friends and his teacher really made him sad. But the first day of school at home came. Henry’s mom had cleared out the downstairs toy room, and put Henry’s table and chair in the room. That morning she was very enthusiastic about how much fun this was going to be, but Henry was skeptical. After breakfast, Henry and Mom went to the new Home School room, and he looked at his table with disdain. Henry told his Mom. “We can’t start, something is not right.” His Mom replied, “What is it, Henry?” Henry said, “My desk doesn’t have my name taped to it in the corner on the top.” His Mom said, “…But Henry, I know your name!” He just stood there and looked at her. Henry is a force to be reckoned with, so his Mom went over to the school supplies on the shelf, found an index card, a marker, and some tape. And she wrote H E N R Y. and taped it to the front right corner, just as directed. His Mom has learned that some battles are not worth it. So once again, she invited Henry to sit down, and they would start. Henry sighed, “Mom, something is not right.” His Mom acted calmly, and replied, “What is it, Henry?” He announced that his school room needed to have a flag, and he needed for her to go out in the garage and get the flag! With her level of frustration growing, she stormed out to the garage, got the flag, and stood the flagpole up in the corner. She could see Henry was pleased, so she once more invited him to sit down and get out his spelling papers. Henry looked at her with astonishment! “No, Mom, you had to go get the flag so we could say the Pledge of Allegiance!” So he told her to stand and put her right hand over her heart, and they recited the pledge together. His Mom thought, Okay, now we can start, but once more her request to start was met with resistance. Henry was questioning if his Mom knew anything about school. His Mom was beginning to get very frustrated. Henry told her it was time for a moment of silence, and she should shut her eyes, so the two of them took their moment of silence. Henry probably prayed, “God help my Mom, ‘cause she doesn’t know anything about school.” And his Mom probably prayed, “God help me not to kill Henry! “ Okay, surely it was time to start school. But Henry said, “Nope.” With steam beginning to come out of her ears, his Mom looked at Henry and said, “Now what?” Henry said, “Well, Mom, it is time for the MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS! The principal always does them, but we don’t have a principal here. Henry looked sad because the principal always had a joke for them at the end of his announcements. His Mom stuck her head out of the home school room, and yelled for her husband to come. They had a crisis. He was working from home, so he came running. He said, “ what is the problem?” His Mom relayed the problem they were having with “starting” school. His Dad walked in the school room and announced the most ridiculous announcements he could think of, and he told a dinosaur joke that sent Henry into fits of giggling. His Dad left, and his Mom just stared at Henry wondering what stall tactic he would demand next. Henry returned her glare, and then said, “Mom, I’m ready to start school!. And by the way, we don’t start with spelling. We start with sight words.” And the adventure of home school began! Let’s take a moment and think about what Henry needed in his day at school. He needed a routine. He needed a schedule. He needed structure in his day. My daughter reported they worked for the next 2 hours, and Henry never balked. He was happy and cooperative. And Henry was alive last time I checked.
My question to myself after hearing this story was: How has the Pandemic and the Stay-at-home Order affected my schedule? Has it affected yours? IT HAS WRECKED MINE! Grandchildren are so awesome, they teach us! We can all learn from Henry. We all need routines to be productive.
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