“Six months ago, we moved into our new home; a home gifted to us on behalf of our hero who was killed in Iraq. It’s a quaint little neighborhood designed to bring people together. Something that seems to have been lost in our country in recent times.
It took a little while to get settled, but with the help of neighbors, we quickly felt at home here. We were excited about the possibilities this community had for us: park hopping, play dates, block parties, and most importantly, time together to share stories and make memories.
But our newfound hope was promptly stripped from us when ‘the virus’ came to town.
We spent a week or so trying to get used to our new normal. We’ve sat in this uncomfortable position before, deciphering up from down, left from right so this strange, yet familiar feeling was actually what prompted us to tap into our grief toolbox. And in our box was a reminder to find a rhythm in this unprecedented time.
I took my new role as home school mommy very seriously, and my daughter Emma found comfort in reading books in the mid-day sun out on the sidewalk.
The little boy across the street, just learning to read, took great interest in Emma’s new routine and as soon as she began Harry Potter, he was outside with his little green chair asking about her book. It was evident both missed companionship and shared learning.
Within moments of their first encounter, Emma was reading with such animation, only to be met by a giant smile and more questions from the boy. This became a thing. An every day thing. Around 3 o’clock each day, we see the boy sitting in his little green chair waiting for Emma to come read. Sometimes, other kids come to share.
Learning during quarantine can feel lonely. It’s easy to become distracted by the ‘should have beens.’ My heart is so full knowing that our gift has become more than a home; it has been an opportunity to connect with others in unconventional and meaningful ways.
These freedoms are not wasted on us. We may be living in the unknown right now, but we’re each finding a unique purpose in this beautiful neighborhood, and these kiddos are just living their best lives in the land of magic and wizardry. This is the new #DistanceLearning.”
Read more: Teacher explains why schools are ‘irreplaceable.’
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