Today is the long-awaited first day of school for our daughter. She’s been out since March 17th, and she’s ready to go back and be around her peers.
Except, she can’t. The school only allows one quarter of the student population at a time. She’s to attend on Tuesdays only, one day a week.
We have known this for about a month, and we were prepared. However, on Friday night of Labor Day weekend, they advised that, if we were to travel, we needed to follow the guidelines. The state of Vermont recommends that the entire state of Rhode Island self-quarantine for 14 days—including Vermonters who travel south. Most of Massachusetts is under the same urging.
I thought we were OK following our plan of keeping far away from people, and being physical near only those who had been tested. On top of that, we stayed as far away from others as we could. And we wore masks all the time. (We ever bought additional masks since it looks like they will be a fashion accessory for a long time to come.)
But over the weekend, the school made it clear that students would have to answer a questionnaire—which specifically asked if they had traveled to a county that was coded yellow or red on the Vermont guidelines. If you had traveled, the school expected you to stay home for 14 days.
As a mother, I can’t tell my daughter to lie. We have to answer honestly.
She is out for another 14 days. Soccer starts today after school, and she is here, home, doing a little running on her own.
A silver lining? It’s a small one for us all today, but when I look hard enough, I come up with this: she’s getting off to a great start academically. She’s taken the initiative to talk with each of her teachers to check in. She’s been online, checking all the assignments. She’s more organized than ever before, with color-coded planners and checklists and tabs and folders. We’ve remarked our mental countdown clocks for her in-person start to the school year: 15 days (and counting). We won’t be traveling anywhere again… ‘cause there’s just no place like home.