Monday, June 29, 2020

Just Thinking Out Loud

A reminder came up on my phone calendar the other day about the first down payment for my son's graduation dance party.  The first payment I would have had to pay to secure my son's spot at his 6th grade prom.  In Costa Rica, middle schools out do themselves with the most massive graduation dance parties for the kids, a special graduation gift as a send off to high school in style.

The kids dress up in their best outfits; the girls in sparkly, frilly, fancy dresses and the boys in a rented suit and tie.  The venue is usually decked out in festive lights, beautifully decorated tables and centerpieces and a deliciously catered meal. A DJ spinning all the latest jams and a few fun surprises are also thrown into the mix.  It's supposed to be the culmination of all the hard work achieved for the year by all the students. It's the fun farewell before the actual graduation day.

It's a day everyone looks forward to, with girls dress shopping months in advance for the big event and the boys working on their dance moves on the daily. However, the reminder got me thinking that with everything going on this year with the pandemic, will the kids get a graduation dance party this year?  Obviously, it's the least of our worries but it's also something I think we as parents should talk about.  In the states and even a few schools here decided to forgo an actual graduation event for the kids.  Proms were cancelled and kids were devasted.  Their special events were taken away from them and they were stripped of that one opportunity to say an actual goodbye, a proper farewell to the end of an era.  We still have a few more months ahead of us before any decisions can be made, but I won't be surprised if dances and even actual graduation events are cancelled at the end of the year.  This was a random blog but I was just thinking out loud.

Finally Taking A Break

I could do a cartwheel and the splits right now I am so happy. Why am I so happy, you may ask? Well,because the kids are finally on winter break from school!  It's the day we all look forward to since the beginning of the school year, the mid year vacation where kids get two to three weeks off from school for a little time to de-stress and relax.  After all the rigorous school work, exams and projects, it is a welcome break from everything scholastic. 

This year was no different even if it is.  We counted down the days to the time when we could close the computers and put away the books for a few weeks of rest and relaxation.  Even though the kids aren't physically in school due to the current situation, homeschooling has proven to be a lot, especially for me as a parent, and I needed this break just as much as the kids.

Granted, exams are far and few between with virtual learning the standard these days and the workload has lessened significantly because distance learning is something new we are all trying to figure out.  The school days are shorter since, for the most part, kids are only expected to work for a couple of hours on a few lessons.  Virtual classes are only about an hour long and homework is very simplified since it's a lot different not having a teacher in a classroom explaining the different aspects of the work. 

The ministry of education is taking into account that lots of parents still have to work and so cannot be as hands on in their kids learning at home.  So as not to stress anyone out, schools are taking a less strict approach to academics.  This also guarantees that kids don't fall behind academically once we resume traditonal schooling and kids are allowed back to class.

Even with everything being at a slower pace and less rigid, we all still really needed a vacation.  It's been a little tricky for me to figure out how to devide my time between housework, schoolwork and my motherly duties.  When I need to run errands, it cuts into the time I need to work with my 6 year old.  As a fulltime homeschooling mom, I had to learn how to really make time for the things I needed to get done throughout the day.  Ususally when the kids are in school, I have a few hours to myself to do everything, like clean the house and run errands. I could go grocery shopping or wash the car, even go get my nails done.  I have to admit that I miss those kid free days, even as much as I love having my kids home all the time. 

Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I like homsechooling the kids.  It's a dream of mine that I've had for a while and I am glad I am able to get a taste of what its like.  But I am so very excited about this two week break.  No more schedules or schoolwork for two whole weeks. No more virtual class meetings or on line exams. It's a mother's dream!

The only downside to vacation this year is we can't go anywhere.  No family beach trip, no fun outdoor activities,  at least for now.  It's the first day of vacation for my boys (my daughter started her vacation last week), and so far we have no plans to leave the house.  I would love to plan a quick trip somewhere before we head back to class.  That would be the ideal vacation, a real getaway from the everyday.  I might even plan a fun day out based on the options we have available to us, just to add a little bit of normalcy in our lives on our short break.  But even if we stay home for the entirety of our vacation, I'll still just revel in the time we get to just relax. 

Not Much Celebrating

Father's Day was just another day, not much to celebrate except the fact that it was supposed to be hubby's special day.  I made a wonderful meal and made the effort to make him feel like the amazing father and husband that he is, but it was a very different way to celebrate the basically NOT celebrating the day at all.

If the kids had been in school, they would have most likely made a few gifts for dad. I probably would have given them money to buy a special gift as well to mark the occasion.  But not this year.  I'm not even sure he got a homemade card.  To my husband's credit, he really didn't care or get bothered that he wasn't treated like a king for the day.  After all, dads are kind of forgotten about when it comes to major celebrations as moms usually take center stage.  That is why Father's day is supposed to be a big deal.  Dads get one day to be loved on and showered with special attention. One day to just be thought of and treated like royalty.  After all, isn't that how it is on Mohter's day?

However, my hubby knows how much he is appreciated and loved everyday. It takes more than one day of the day to show him his true worth.  So not celebrating the day and making a big deal out of Father's Day was not something that he really cared to do.  He just wanted a day to be, to relax. And that is why he is the wonderful man that he is and why we love him.  It's a happy Father's day everyday to my wonderful hubby.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Wanting A Vacation

It feels like it's been forever since we've been to the beach as a family since we forfeited a tropical vacation for a winter one. Last year, instead of our traditional beach getaway, the kids and I headed to Boston for a once in a lifetime trip.  We saw all the things like museum art and exhibits.  Shopped at all the stores like Target and The Dollar Tree.  Ate at all the places like Chipotle and The Cheesecake Factory. A lot of what we did were first time experiences for my kids like going to the zoo and the aquarium.  We even took a trip to the big apple, New York City. Seeing the Rockafellar Center Christmas tree and going to central park was the most magical experience.  And I would not trade that vacation for the world.  But being back in Costa Rica and then having the lockdown, I have missed the beach sorely.

July is fast approaching, and it would be a nice treat to get away from it all for just a few days, to relax in the sunshine on a white sandy beach.  I would love to chill poolside with a cocktail and relish in some much needed family time.  Plus lets not forget all the amazing food to be had. 

It's not like I need a vacation.  Lets be honest, with the kids not in actual school there isn't much of that hustle and bustle to worry about. We take our time at home with lessons and we have plenty of downtime.  But just the thought of a vacation sounds nice.  A quick family trip to get away from reality for a little while and re-group.  With everything happening in the world right now with the virus pandemic and the senseless violence, I need to unplug. 

I'm just saying, a vacation would be nice.  It would be something to look forward to, after all who doesn't love planning a vacation.