448050911201448 My First Week Back to School: 2020 | Polka Dots and Protons - Interactive Science Notebooks & More

My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

My First Week Back to School: 2020

Now I am here and it is the weekend. I am reflecting on the week and want to remember the highs and lows of the past seven day. The lows were low but the highs were really great. 

Sat.: Shawn's parents came to see Cole before he left for college. Shawn is my husband who passed away in May of 2019, 15 months ago. Cole is our second oldest son and he will be attending BYU Provo as a freshman. He is a resilient, kind soul with big hiking boots and a graceful style of surfing. He can fix things around the property like a grown man. He has been a pillar of calm this last year. If you are on a deserted island or in the game of Survivor, you would want an alliance with Cole. He could make fire and win rewards. No tragedy of losing his father his Junior year, or a pandemic his senior year, or flood that required us to move out of our home for four month, or other difficulty could sway him off of his foundation of faith and steadiness.

He is practically perfect, except for his housekeeping skills. He was leaving Monday but his room was...icky and his laundry...piled and dirty. He's a perfect teenager. So the in-laws are here and Cole is packing and the water main to the house breaks.

My father-in-law, my dad, and two sons work Sat. and Sun. to fix the pipe. This requires jack hammering into the asphalt driveway in 100 plus degree weather. 

Sun.: The pipe gets fixed early and is the glue is curing. We still don't have water which makes flushing hard and we have guests visiting. We have water jugs piled on the counter and in each bathroom. Both grandmas bring some breakfast since it is hard to host without water. Then both grandmas work to get Cole packed for college. We discover that Cole has only two pairs of long pants. Tyler and Cole wear the same size so Cole packs Tyler's pants and we will go buy Tyler more pants. Problem solved eventually.

We have "at home" church because we are in a pandemic and can't go to the church building. Tyler, our 21 year old, along with my father-in-law and my dad give Cole a priesthood blessing. It was beautiful.

The water main is fixed at noon and we can start laundry. My in-laws head back home to Arizona. We realize our water pressure is really high so I call our plumber and get a pressure regulator put in at the meter on the street.

Mon.: The kids play a game of early morning basketball. It is their way of saying "goodbye" and "I love you" to Cole. I hug and kiss. I would love to leave to take Cole to college in Provo but I am starting back to work in a crazy year of distance education. I am a widow and I am grateful for my job when so many don't have work. I leave for my first day at the same time Cole leaves with my parents. They are heading to Escondido to meet Uncle Gary and Uncle Brian who will drive with Grandpa Paul together to fill in to take Cole to college. They will be in four states in one day.

I am grateful that I don't have to drive away from campus and leave Cole. That is a hard feeling. I don't like goodbyes and so I am spared. I want to help set up the dorm but I can't be everywhere. I pick my battles. 

Gary, Brian, Paul, and Cole head up to BYU together. I am so grateful they are happy to step in and get Cole settled. This year has taken a team to fill in the gaps. Our team is awesome and our gaps are filled well. 

Sweet Addy brought me flowers and treats from Bates as a surprise at school What an amazing 17 year old who is thoughtful and considerate when her life is crazy too. She is a distance learning senior who is missing her sports. She is such a blessing.

The plumber comes out and surveys the issue and makes a plan to come Tues. to get the pressure regulator installed. I am grateful that he comes out quickly and is willing to come the next day to complete the job.

Tues.:  There is another water main break. Cole and Grandpa Paul are in Utah. I text my friend, Trent. I go to work and call Tyler in the afternoon. I am overcome with gratitude when I hear that Trent, Joseph, and Tyler have already jack hammered the driveway and fixed the water main. Trent will come back in the morning to redo the asphalt. Wow! It is super hot and I am so grateful for these men who came to help. I am grateful for Tyler who doesn't love hard labor but does it anyway. 

Weds.: It is our first day of school with students. It is a year of distance learning so this is the drive through to pick up their bin of books etc. It is 100 degrees and each teacher is outside for two hours. At 1.5 hours I overheat. I go inside and have to have cool cleaning cloths on my head and face. With the water main breaks, Cole leaving, a new grade level to teach, and super hot weather... it is too much. My friend, Julie, comes to sit with me as I calm down and cool off. I loved welcoming my students and I want to start off strong. Here is an amazing part... I was showered with love by these new students. Flowers, drinks, love, excitement, and a gift card. I felt like Miss America with the roses they brought. Little did they know how much I needed the encouragement. I was so touched.

Summary: It is interesting that in really hard times there is such beauty with the challenges. Sue and Amy brought dinner. Shauna and Joseph visited. I have incredible families and students who showed their support as we start the fall 2020 year distance learning. Heaven is close and although it is a lot, I am so grateful for the love and support.