Together again!

Posted By on Aug 12, 2020 |

On August 3, our Oak Lane family came together again. We were all a bit nervous. What would it be like to wear a mask all day? Would the kids know when we were smiling at them? How can we be together and still stay apart?

Just like when we were doing online Morning Meetings, we figured it out. And, added our own special Oak Lane twists. For example, around the time of our online graduation in early June, one of our four-year-olds figured out how to play hide-and-seek on a video call. She correctly reasoned that if she could mute and un-mute with the microphone icon on the screen, she could do the same with the video feed. And, so, our daily game of hide-and-seek was created. Our kiddos learned how to both provide and respond to the cue, “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” by clicking and un-clicking the camera icon. This game of hide-and-seek, played online while sitting on a chair in front of a computer, made us all giggle every single time.

It’s the same with being together again in a new way — with masks, and staying a few feet away from each other, and washing our hands even more times per day. What does a Quaker daycare director who is told to use a thermometer gun do? Call it a wand and dress up as the thermometer fairy, complete with tiara and wings. However serious the situation is — and it is serious, enough to make me question over and over if we are doing all we can to keep teachers, children, and families safe — there’s no reason to take ourselves too seriously.

As for children knowing when we are smiling at them? Hasn’t been an issue for even one second. How do I know this? You know how babies almost automatically smile back when you smile at them? It happens even when I’m wearing a mask. And, how can we show affection? A few preschoolers and I decided to blink our kisses to each other. And, they can still tickle each other’s toes, which I heard all about in delighted detail over and over again at lunch today after water play on the playground.

I know there is a lot of concern about bringing kids and teachers together at school. These concerns are real and valid and need to be taken seriously and resolved as best as can be. But, even though it seems that everything has changed, some things remain constant. Babies still smile, preschoolers still giggle, children still need to learn how to touch each other in safe ways, and teachers still have fun creating new systems for children to learn. And parents, prevented by public health concerns from entering the space where their children now spend their days, still miss them, even — or is it especially? — after being together 24/7 for five months, and want to hear every detail about how they spent their day.

So, welcome back to our blog! And to our special, happy place — Oak Lane.