Back to school… already.

Where did the last two and a half months go?  Facetiously, obviously, I know we did a lot amidst a global pandemic, often against public health orders (everything short of a family vacation).  But it seems like we were just celebrating our kids’ successful completion of online classes in May hoping darn well they better be back in school when the middle of August gets here.  Ha, wrong!

Let’s briefly go back to March 2020, the month that changed the world, albeit we know too late at this point since the world changed around us long before any of us were aware…

  • A friend of mine from Texas calls to say his son’s senior baseball season at MIT has just been put on ice, and the spring athletes are being told to leave campus. At the time, that news felt incredibly gut-wrenching, but we’ve seen far worse heartache for athletes of all levels since…
  • My son Cole’s 9th birthday party takes place at the Bo Jackson indoor facility, and most people in attendance are least a little apprehensive about proximity to each other.
  • We celebrate Cole’s birthday about a week later with a family dinner night out. Again, virus in the back of our heads, but that’s about it.
  • With the help of my brother-in-law and his cousin, we install a pretty solid basketball hoop in the driveway – four feet of concrete in total (could not have been timed any better).
  • GBQ Green Bagel cancellations start going out, one of my top two favorite events our firm hosts every year (second to family Christmas and Santa Tom).
  • Conference basketball tournaments and, subsequently, March Madness – gone. At that point, there went the world.

“We got this” (right, Tim?).  Let’s get to work focusing our kids on their new adjustment to virtual school while keeping them as distracted as possible, maybe even wear them out a little along the way.  A full five months later, almost to the day, how in the world are we back to (not in) school already?

I’ll admit, the available silence in the house that comes with their new morning classroom Zoom routine from opposite bedrooms across the hall has been a blessing; I achieve a lot during those meetings.  Until the first fire drill of the school year occurred, literally on day one… multiple loud thuds against the ceiling two floors up, my wife and I essentially race to see what is going on.  Klein is sitting there smiling after completing ten jumping jacks, with an instant look of embarrassment at the sight of his parents watching him. “Virtual online fire drill, c’mon mom.”

Fine, whatever, I’m in, and he loves it.  Fast forward less than 24 hours later, and he’s not happy about the fact his older brother already figured out how to install a virtual meeting background.  “Mom, I need one of those ghost backgrounds where you post a pic of yourself, and it looks like you’re still sitting there in the Zoom meeting.”  Hey man, you’re six years old, take it easy.  Plenty of time to play hooky later in life, don’t go wasting your chances now.

We can get through this, we’re feeling good about our chances of online school working out, and the two boys being as productive as possible.  Heck, my wife and I have done it for the past five months and I’m only half as tech-savvy as my two boys. We’ve all found ways in our new “normal” to be productive and work, parent, coach, and now teach (again).  Last week I attended a virtual conference and led a discussion on State & Local Tax (y’all know that’s still my day job, right?).  We have some exciting stuff to come on the geographic expansion of our SALT services. But, that’s for another blog.  Cole is yelling across the house, “I’m not helping you, Klein, you know your ABCs, leave me alone!” Back to being a teacher…

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