Publisher’s Letter: THE DAY I WROTE THIS….

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

It’s the middle of September and I have been counting — 6 months of being home with my two young boys throughout this pandemic. I bet I’m not alone when I say, Hallelujah! Not only, because I have had so many positive experiences and forged life long memories with my boys but because today I found out that in two weeks they go back to school!

The truth is we all need a break. Our children need them from their parents and their parents need breaks from them. If you haven’t had the experience of trying to work from home while your children are there for the entire day for months on end — consider yourself lucky! In the first week, I lost count of how many times one of my children “hijacked” my zoom conference call. My youngest actually still finds some strange joy in running in front of the camera in only his underwear.

Thank God for the teachers who stuck with us through all this, adapting to new lesson plans and creating entirely new learning platforms. My children have adapted fairly well. Almost too well. They can’t seem to turn off their computers during recess, breaks, or even before bed. They insist on searching for the latest YouTube video or playing “learning games” when it is time for them to let the screens (and their brains) rest. They are relentless. They actually sneak screen time and they can’t wait to chat with or email their teachers! Those poor souls (the teachers, I mean.)

I have lost count how many times I have asked my children to “Please be quiet!” because either mommy or daddy are on a conference call.

The handwritten sign “In a meeting” is taped to the door of my office, it never comes down — perhaps that’s why they don’t see it anymore.

So, ask my children: “Are you excited to go back to school?” They say: “YES!” In fact, they are counting down the days — so am I!

Don’t get me wrong. I am concerned about Covid-19 in schools. Sending our children back to school is scary for all of us. But they have lost important developmental time — one-on-one time with teachers and friends. And I have just about gone nuts having them at home ALL THE TIME!

Life is slowly inching back to normal. All I can say is that before all this, I had no idea… but when it’s time to take my kids back to school, I will be the first one in the car!

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Blaine Howerton