“My gratuitous two cents, see if you can’t find a silver lining in all of this.”
– Governor Cuomo (NY)
On Thursday, I had my first virtual faculty meeting on Zoom. The meeting ran for an hour, and then, my teammates texted me to see if I could set up a meeting for 1:30 with them (the first meeting that I’ve ever hosted). At the same time, my wife was on a sixty-minute webinar with the head of her school’s technology department. While we were both working, something important slipped our minds and made us question our parenting abilities.
The door to the television room in the basement opens and my wife has a panicked look on her face. She has her computer in her hand and ear phones on, but she slips me a piece of paper. It reads, “Where is Fiona? She has a Google Meet visit with her teacher scheduled for 1:30.” Obviously, now I am in panic mode, so I calmly tell my teammates that I will be right back.
I head upstairs and check out the front window. No Fiona. I head to the back sliding glass door. No Fiona. I run upstairs and check her bedroom. No Fiona. And then as I head back down the stairs, I hear her voice. I go back upstairs, into her bedroom, and open the playroom door off of the bedroom to find her sitting in front of the computer screen talking to her teacher. She has a huge smile on her face.
After our meetings are done, my wife and I find out that Fiona did tell my wife that she was heading upstairs to talk with her teacher. My wife was in the middle of the webinar and shook her head but didn’t really hear her. She had set an alarm on her watch for 1:20. She came in the house (she was drawing with chalk on the driveway (art class), washed her hands, grabbed a Chromebook, and went to her meeting for a virtual meeting with her teacher.
This begs the question: Does she really need us? She’s in fourth grade. She’s the youngest of four. She tests our pool and puts chlorine in it each summer day (completely shocked a teacher friend that was over one morning), she puts away her laundry (sometimes does it), she makes her own lunch (and sometimes her siblings’ lunches), and does her homework without being asked (she sometimes helps her ninth grade brother by saying, “Did you read the passage before answering the questions?”). She is more independent than all three of her older siblings.
There are so many things that are awful about the Coronavirus and the sickness that it is causing in the world, but I do agree with the governor on his quote from today. There is a “silver lining”. I know that Fiona is independent, but I have taken it for granted. I am noticing so many things about my family that I did not notice before. In the hustle and bustle of life, you take so many things for granted, so for me, the “silver lining” of this time of quarantine is that I’m seeing all of the wonderful aspects of my family.