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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.

Day 73: The bright side

There is a phrase that has become a regular part of our days around here.

“Are you in it or watching it?”

That’s the kids (primarily Hannah – Brooke will just barge in talking a mile-a-minute without realizing what I’m doing at all), asking whether I’m tuning into a livestream meeting for a council or taking part in a Zoom meeting for interviews or volunteer organizations.

It’s funny, these little rituals we knew nothing of just three months ago, which now course through our daily lives.

Hannah picked up on it early, and will always approach the table or counter tentatively when she sees a meeting happening on-screen. She learned this during a virtual St. Mary’s School parent council meeting I was chairing from the dining room, when she popped in for a hug and realized her principal was part of the gallery.

Today, while I watched the County council meeting, she tiptoed to the table, leaned in, and asked whether I was “in it or not.” When I shook my head, she breathed a sigh of relief.

“I don’t want to accidentally see Mr. Bailey again.”

Sorry, Brandon.

She proceeded to make herself a homemade mask and then sat across from me, hiding behind it to try to scare me, giggling away, and generally making County a little more raucous than it usually is.

This kid is constantly making me laugh.

That’s something I’ll miss when this working-from-home and homeschooling period of our lives draws to a close. Seeing these faces from morning to night, getting a five-year-old-induced laugh here and there to punctuate the workday – Bruce is funny, but it’s not the same.

Having said that, I’m beginning to feel the same as the kids from time to time. Maybe homeschooling and working from home hasn’t been awful for us, but we miss people – engaging with classmates, colleagues and sources face-to-face rather than on a screen.

Hey – at least we have screens. We’re lucky that way (and thankfully we have more than one, so when Hannah’s tablet dies in the middle of her Wednesday morning kindergarten Zoom, she can jump onto Mom’s computer and the County meeting continues streaming on a separate device).

We continue to find the positive wherever we can.

Like when Hannah pops up from the other side of my computer with a handmade mask I know she spent a good half hour to make, and her pride is so strong I can sense the smile through the marker-covered paper.

Or the fact being home means chores get done when they’re supposed to be (and counters stay clear of “crap,” which under normal circumstances is one of my biggest pet peeves). This also works well for the Zoom life, because our house is often unwittingly on display from various vantage points.

It’s not all pretty, it’s not all enjoyable, but it is what we make of it and I hope, if anything, the kids take the positive away from this and learn how to appreciate the little moments in life.

Because it’s those little moments that have been fueling my fire.

Krista Conrad,

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Krista Conrad

About the Author: Krista Conrad

Krista Conrad is the news reporter for and the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips contact
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