Letters to My Children – September 2020

Dear Ariya,

Summer vacation is officially over.  School started after labor day and you are learning virtually.  It’s been….interesting.  There have been a lot of moments where we have had to just roll with it.  Technology can be a pain.  Having 16 kids in a virtual class can be tough.  I could see your frustration when you raised your hand and the kids would talk over you.  Or  when you would get through the material really fast but had to wait for everyone to catch up.  It’s been an interesting month of trying to figure out what would work to keep you engaged.  I bought a bunch of homeschooling material that looked pretty interesting and fun.  You’ve enjoyed a lot of the stories that we’ve gone through.  And we’ve also signed up for virtual art lessons, virtual ballet and even trying something new, like virtual Jazz.  This school year looks very weird.  There have been a lot of tears but we’re going to get through it.

We’ve had a few adventures, like going to the State Arboretum, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to see the Bugs Exhibit or Harper’s Ferry.  Harper’s Ferry with daddy was quite the hike.  We didn’t go as far as we could have, but man, we were all wiped.  And with the dogs too, who don’t care for strangers.  Charlie had his muzzle on the whole time.  And Emmy tried to drag me down a few trails.  I had to hand the leash over to Daddy.  I think he has a calming effect on the dogs.  And you loved playing in the river, checking out the little fish.

Our home renovations are still in progress.  You’re still sharing a room with Asha, and it’s tough.  She wants to keep playing, you want to keep reading.  She wakes up early and is ready to play, and you take a little time to wake up.  You can’t wait until we can move into the new house.  Your new bedroom is waiting, your new bunk bed.  I know.  I can’t wait either.

Dear Asha,

It’s so weird not going to your pre-school for your last year of pre-K.  I’m so bummed that this year is so different and you can’t experience it all like Ariya did.  But, the person who would have been your teacher for pre-K offered to tutor you on her front porch outside, so that was really nice.  you still get your lessons, and we have material to work with. Ariya gets to take lessons with her too, but it’s more like science experiments and more hands on learning that she doesn’t get with virtual.

I also got some homeschooling stuff for you.  I think you liked some of the subjects we covered, but it’s very nature based, and I think you just want to do what Ariya does.  You are working on writing and doing a ton of worksheets.  You’re not a fan of coloring as much, unless I’m coloring with you.

And you like to play, a lot.  Your voice only knows one volume.  Oh man, you love to make Anika laugh so much.  You fight with Ariya a lot, but I think it’s because you love her so much.  You want to do anything that she does, you look up to her so much.  I understand that feeling, I used to look up to my brother so much too.  It’s so tough being in such a small place.  You want to be loud and wild and free.  But Anika naps upstairs once or twice a day, and Ariya is doing virtual learning all morning. It’s time for us to get out of this townhouse!

We got out and had fun in nature, that’s for sure.  Man, you both have been riding your bike like crazy in our little parking lot.  And the hike to Harper’s ferry, wow, you made it!  I am so proud of you! The bugs exhibit at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley was great.  I think your favorite part were the gardens, and all the bees, and the bamboo forest.  Yeah, the bamboo forest and the Japanese Garden was pretty cool for sure.

But, in the meantime, you are ALSO doing art with Ariya, and ballet, and tutoring with your pre-K teacher.  So that’s nice, having things to look forward to. you’re learning so much, that’s for sure.

Dear Anika,

Anika.  What can I say.  You are now 14 months old and you’re crawling up a storm.  You’ve learned to crawl up and down the stairs in our town house.  You follow your sisters around everywhere.  You’re into anything and everything.  When you get tired, you start crawling back and forth, doing laps around the town house.  Then you start crawling in circles and shaking your head back and forth.  That’s when we know you’re delirious.   And you love your “dada”.  You still have yet to say mama and it is killing me.  But that’s ok, I know you love me 🙂


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