These last few weeks have been nothing short of a rollercoaster of emotions. Literally, everything changes by the minute and I think one of the hardest parts is that there is so much unknown.

Just like millions of families across the nation, our kid’s schools have been closed due to the novel coronavirus health crisis. Everyone is trying to work on their new normal and every family is handling it differently. We had a couple small victories and are starting to find our balance, but it was pretty much chaos when the virtual learning first started.

I have always had an immense respect for educators, both of my beloved grandparents were retired educators, and I myself even majored in elementary education in college. However, this week that respect grew even more profound while trying to navigate both of our sons’ school work.

Thankfully our oldest, who is in the sixth grade, has much more experience with the 1:1 iPad learning our school district implemented a few years ago. I always had a love/hate relationship with the iPad learning, but now I am grateful for this opportunity and they have been preparing for something like this for a long time.

Our youngest son is in the third grade, and while they each have an iPad in the classroom, they were not solely learning on the iPad. So, there has been a lot of big brother helping little brother out, and although it only lasts for a second before the bickering starts back up, it is sweet while it lasts.

My husband and I are both working our normal schedules, so it has weighed heavily on my heart that we can’t be at home with our kids like most of our friends and families. You see so many social media posts with families doing school work and home experiments together and one night it just really got to me. But we have to do what works best for our family, not to mention that most of the perfect pictures you see on social media don’t tell the real story. As every mom will tell you, their days consists mostly of cleaning, feeding, some yelling and an adult beverage of some sort.

All I can say is that this entire experience has been eye opening for everyone. It has brought us closer together as a family. We try to play a different game each night. Our calendars are clear of the usual games, parties, events, etc. We don’t have to do our typical eat and run. The kids are enjoying helping us cook and have really taken charge of our meal planning. But I do miss socializing and being around all of our friends and family. We have done the Zoom sessions and have many group texts, but it’s not the same. Our health and safety means so much more than that, and we know that one day this too shall pass.

Today is our son’s ninth birthday, and he is probably the biggest social butterfly of us all. Since his birthday is while we’re in the midst of of social distancing, he has requested a family nerf gun war followed by his favorite hamburger and a fruit pizza birthday cake, that I am making for the first time.

Just remember: Stay strong, stay health, we will persevere!

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette. Her column runs every other week. You can e-mail her at .

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