First Day of School Lesson (SeedMoment #2)

To everything there is a season: from rollercoaster summer to the first day of school.

First day of middle school and high school.

Bittersweet moment after 10 weeks of a roller coaster summer. Instead of traveling and seeing loved ones in the U.S., we spent it mostly at home or taking road trips around Singapore.

Summer plans A, B, C, D, E, F, and G changed during the course of the season. Each time, we pivoted to new activities and to new ways of doing things. The girls got used to being at home. They eagerly wrote 50,000+ words of their novels. That’s roughly 165 pages of a book.

They also organized their closets and several dusty boxes of old letters, memorabilia, and school/art/writing stuff from the toddler years to the present. This was a huge undertaking that helped them take stock of their work. To maintain their energy and attention, we watched video tutorials by Marie Kondo and space makeovers by the Home Edit gals on Netflix.

Noel cooked some wonderful meals. (More on this in a later post.) Since he hasn’t taken a business trip in more than 18 months, we’ve enjoyed this longest stretch of time with him. Instead of bringing us sweets from different countries, this summer, he brought home about 30 pints of ice cream from the grocery store down the street. (He thinks it’s not that much; I beg to differ.)

I can’t remember any specific accomplishment for myself except continuing to manage the household, making sure to encourage things like healthy foods, screen-free breaks, and physical activity. Not sure I succeeded in those areas. Never mind. My overall goal was to help the girls not only survive a practically quarantined summer, but to fill their cup enough for another uncertain year. Hope I made some inroads in that area.

The girls said they had a very wonderful summer. They were very sad for it to end. Yet, on the first day of school, they were also up early on their own, loudly laughing and chattering. I had to remind them to tone it down just in case the neighbors were still asleep. So, I think I met my goal. I hope the emotional reserve they’ve obtained is enough for the trials that will surely come — the pandemic and the non-pandemic kind.

This week, I am reviewing the last few months and plan to resume my other job as a writer. Before Singapore’s renewed coronavirus restrictions in May, some literary agents asked to see pages of my memoir. I haven’t yet delivered on those requests. I do plan to revive that project after a few days’ reprieve from the juggernaut the pandemic summer had become. Now that my children are off to new adventures, it is time for me to continue my own.

I guess this summer has helped me rediscover a life lesson: To everything, there is a season. If everything was normal, my family and I would have spent time with loved ones in the States. Noel would have taken his business trips abroad. Our daughters would have been out and about on their usual ventures with relatives and friends. Instead, the girls organized their stuff and wrote a lot of words. I might have written more, but I would not have had this dedicated time with my husband and daughters.

Everyday life during the pandemic has certainly be challenging, but there are outstanding moments and nuggets of wisdom to mine, even with less-than-ideal circumstances. Reflecting on those gems may give us the charge we need to keep going, and that’s what I’m banking on as my girls embark on their new school chapter and I move ahead with my writing goals.

© 2021 Windswept Wildflower

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