Going Back to Something New

September 1, 2021 at 3:03 pm 6 comments

Good Morning, My Sleepy Kids

Here we are on the first day of in-person school. It has been a long time since we had to worry about packing lunches and gathering school supplies. Given all that has happened over the past year and a half, I am pleased yet unsurprised both of you still show some enthusiasm for the classroom. Maybe you really are bored from playing Roblox all day.

The challenge of working from home while managing your online schooling often had me at my wits’ end. I am grateful I have an understanding crew of coworkers. We got through it as best we could, with some amazing effort from the good people in your school district.

Our Summer Break was one for the memory books, mostly because of that 15-day road trip across the West that brought you to places like Hogwarts at Universal Studios, Chinatown in San Francisco, Malibu Beach, and the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz. In between were new spots and experiences for us to treasure in our minds as we move forward to this new school year.

I will still be home some days each week, only now doing my work without the sound of the two of you bumping about upstairs, bickering over food or toys or whatever online game you were playing together. The peace and isolation might make me a better online worker, but I will miss having you two here with me. Work breaks are nicer when I get to throw a baseball in the backyard.

To My Daughter As You Start 7th Grade

This remote learning model was just not for you. The past year and a half seemed like lost time as you struggled to maintain connections with your friends and teachers. There were just too many distractions and your spirit dimmed a bit during that time.

I have no doubt you will thrive now, surrounded by friends and opportunities to discover what new directions you want to go. I still worry about whether you will be able to focus on the schoolwork. Middle school has lots to offer and you want to experience all of it. Grades first, then sports and friends and boys. I’m certain that’s not how you see it.

Last night you were busy cleaning your room, arranging your clothes, and packing lunches for you and your brother. This morning you were up much earlier than necessary, in the shower before me, and ready to go with no prompting. I like this new school-morning version of you. I give it a week before I’m back to turning the lights on and yanking the covers off of your snoozing face ten minutes before we are supposed to leave.

To My Son as You Start 4th Grade

Last year’s experience with your main teacher soured you on school for a while. As is common with any remote method of communication, much is lost in translation. This can be a year where you leave that all behind and start anew. You are a smart, social, and conscientious student and being physically there with your teacher means she will see that in you right away.

But your biggest challenge won’t be with your teacher or in the classroom, it will be learning how to get along in school knowing your sister isn’t there with you now. This is the year you will be standing on your own, experiencing school without your best friend on the playground or in the classroom next door. Please don’t spend any more time worrying about that. Just focus on what’s in front of you. Your ability to make friends and your growing self-confidence will carry you through this year. When one of those school days get tough, just remember you will see your sister at the end of every day.

My Sweet Children, stay focused on your schoolwork and try to enjoy every minute of this year. Immerse yourself in the activities and friendships. So much of what happens is out of our control; the best you can do is make sure to care for the health and safety of yourself and others as we make our way through it all. I have a feeling this year will be one to remember.

The first morning is upon us so grab your backpacks, hold still for a photo, and get in the car. It’s time to go to school.

Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Growing Up to 12 Small Stones

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peggy Thiel  |  September 1, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    I just love your letters to your kids. You need to some day publish a book for each of them.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • 2. Hop Dad  |  September 1, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      PEGGY! Thank you!
      I do have to find a way to preserve them beyond using this site. There must be a way to archive them from here. Plus I have to do something with all of the rough drafts that never make it here.

  • 3. Nadene Good  |  September 1, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Scott your Hop Dad posts give me hope for our future generations. Nadene


    • 4. Hop Dad  |  September 1, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      Haha! Thank you.

  • 5. Dee Good  |  September 2, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    These letters to the kids will make a wonderful gift for them….graduation, wedding or whenever you feel the time is right. Your insights are wonderful!

    • 6. Hop Dad  |  September 3, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Thank you so much, Dee! I am hoping these essays add more to to their understanding of how we grew together.


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