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The Rise of Fall

School has begun, and mamas all over have kicked it into high gear, especially this year of years.  New shoes are on, snacks are packed, and Google Classroom is up and running as we settle into this hybrid blend of at-school and at-home learning.  And I will say this: we are getting it done. 

Maybe this is because the spring hurtled so many scary curve balls that I was ready for September to bring it on.  Or maybe it’s that first breath of crisp fall air that has me feeling refreshed and ready for whatever this season will look like.  I feel...I hope...that we’ve seen the worst and now we are managing until we can kiss those masks goodbye.  

My family is not Jewish, but I love the timing of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, when a new year is celebrated.  The first days of autumn always feel to me like we’ve turned a corner.  Maybe spending pretty much my entire life as a student, teacher, or mother of students has cemented in me the association of freshly sharpened pencils and apple-scented candles with starting anew.  I love the promise of a blank academic planner and HalloThanksMas peeking around the corner.  

The pandemic has tempered this sense of renewal a little, as the academic year and the holidays ahead are still muddled with uncertainty.  But we’re all here.  We’re all healthy, thank goodness, and we are managing each day with purpose.  When I am flustered by a pandemic-induced inconvenience, I try to tell myself that I’m living in the midst of a historic event. An event that future students will read about in class.  And it’s messy, and it’s scary, and it’s frustrating.  But it will pass.  Hopefully with the last of those fall leaves or with the drop of that New Year’s Eve ball.

So for now my job is to get us through.  And I’m hoping that school-on-a-screen and friends-behind-the-masks are memories my kids will keep to mark this unusual moment in time, but they will be alongside the things our family has always done, like crunching through those leaves and baking that apple cake.  My littles skipped merrily placing styrofoam pumpkins around the house (that my Newf will probably chew) and we picked out Halloween costumes because whatever the regulations may be, we will celebrate in our own way.  And so this mama is going to sip her pumpkin coffee, light a cinnamon candle, and make the best of this season of change. 

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