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One day at a time

OkotoksToday and Western Wheel reporter Krista Conrad's daily update on working from home and raising five kids suddenly out of school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Day 67: Rainy Days

A torch was passed down today.

When Brooke and Alyssa were young, one of their favourite activities was puddle-jumping. They would wait for rainy days, then gear up with raincoats, rubber boots and umbrellas to head out to the end of our sidewalk, where they would jump in the half-foot of water collecting curbside.

Hannah started going stir-crazy this morning, so I suggested the same activity to her. She was all over the idea and bolted for the porch to put on her most waterproof jacket and rainbow boots, and grabbed her ducky umbrella (the same one Brooke used to play with when she was this age).

I sent her to tell Brooke what she was doing and invite her to come along, since it was one of her favourite childhood pastimes (actually, big sister still heads out of jump in puddles from time to time and at age 17, the heavier the rain the better).

The two of them hung out in the rain for half an hour, splashing, making waves, getting soaked, watching worms, and giggling. Hannah screamed and ran away when Brooke picked up a worm and put it on her sleeve, and Brooke laughed at her in typical big sister fashion.

It’s always fun to see the bond between older and younger siblings, especially give the 11-year age difference between these two. When Brooke is able to share something from her childhood with Hannah, it makes them both happy and brings them even closer.

This moment made the rain easier to stomach today, because otherwise it’s getting a little old. When it’s pouring so hard the basketball doesn’t make it outside, the bikes stay hidden away under the deck and there’s no lunchtime escape around the pond, the days feel longer.

But when the kids get out – even for just a few minutes – to play in the downpour, they come back refreshed and full of vigour.

That was especially good for Hannah today, who needed to expel some energy after working so hard. This girl woke up with a hunger for learning and set herself to the task of printing Ns and making an art project sent by her teacher this week.

She also met Mrs. Edwards on Zoom for her kindergarten assessment, which was pretty special as far as she was concerned – a one-on-one with her teacher isn’t normal anymore, and she misses that interaction.

It was special for Mom too, because assessments are normally something I’m told about after the fact. I don’t get to see them in action, watch her follow the instructions from her teacher and then hear the results right away (10 out of 10 for writing her numbers today – so proud). Working from home gifts me the opportunity to be present for those little moments I would ordinarily miss, because as a full-time working mom I don’t get to volunteer in the classroom.

These are some of the blessings I’m counting during our homeschool, home office chaos. Time with the kids is a welcome side effect and the number one thing I will take away from this time of our lives.

Watching them learn and study, even when it gets frustrating, is a pretty unique experience and one I’m eternally grateful for. Spending bonus months with Hannah before full-time schooling kicks in has been a treat, despite the fact helping her with lessons and guiding her through these days while doing my own work takes a lot of balance and even more patience.

It’s clear this little girl is ready for Grade 1 but for now she’s quite happy to whittle away at kindergarten work, eager to learn, check in with her teacher and classmates once a week, and watch her videos when there aren’t anymore worksheets to do.

As long as there’s always time to play in the rain.

Krista Conrad, OkotoksToday.ca

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Krista Conrad

About the Author: Krista Conrad

Krista Conrad is the news reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips contact kconrad@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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