While kids worldwide are ecstatic about school being cancelled for the rest of the year, parents quickly found out that they were not quite off the hook. Instead of just helping their kids with their homework and reading to them at bedtime, we became their primary teachers overnight (Note: This is in no way a slight to actual teachers, as they still have to assign and grade the coursework. They also miss their kids like crazy). It was a little difficult at first, but like all things with single parenting, you eventually get the hang of it.
So by now, most of us are probably bored out of our minds being stuck at home. While I still have to go in to work (being mission-essential and all), the girls are definitely getting tired of being cooped up in the house most of the weekend. But, pandemic or not, good parenting never stops and we are still driving on with our routine (albeit a safer one).
About two weeks before COVID-19 changed everything, we were busy preparing Elaina for her talent show at the Seifert School Age Center (SAC). She was planning to sing “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II with some of her friends, so we brought out the karaoke machine that she got for Christmas and started practicing. Yep, it is another post about taking time away from your busy day at work to support your child and their activity.
During this time of uncertainty, sometimes it is really tough to think positive. But we must carry on and try to find the silver lining in all this. In the Army, we call this “Hunting the Good Stuff.” In essence, you may be in a bad situation, but try your best to look on the bright side. And we do, because that is how the Calkins Family does it.
March 2-6 was Read Across America Week at COL Johnston Elementary School. Elaina was pretty pumped for it, with every day having a special theme. And of course, Gabriella, always wanting to be like her big sister, got in on the fun too. Dr. Seuss’ birthday was that Monday and the school celebrated by having a Dr. Seuss Character Day. While we are certainly not the greatest at arts & crafts or DIY, events like these keep us smiling while improving on our skills.
My Mom only wanted one thing for Christmas, and that was for it to snow in Southern Arizona. It happened for a few days last year, but it did not seem like it was going to happen over the holidays this time. She must have been on the “Nice” list this year, as she got her wish right before they headed back home.
There is no shortage of things to do around the holidays. Unfortunately for us, any activity, especially one in Tucson, takes away from preparing for the girls’ grandparents to arrive on Christmas week. Thankfully, Fort Huachuca has plenty of holiday events. And when one of the biggest of the season is literally a block from our house, there is really no excuse not to grab the girls and join in on the fun.
I put in a lot of hours at work. I am pretty good at time management (and work through lunch on most days), so I still get off by 5:15pm every day, but the time spent at the office definitely adds up. While anyone can tell you that breaks need to be taken, it is important to ensure that those breaks are effective, meaning that they replenish you and allow you to refocus once you return to work. I do not take as many breaks as I should, but they are almost always effective. The best break? Going to one of my daughters’ schools and surprising them for lunch.
It is time for the annual Trunk or Treat at Fort Huachuca. Given how much candy they got last year from the event, you just knew the girls would want to participate. Time to suit up in your costume of choice, grab your candy bag, and get ready to wait in line for an hour in almost freezing temperatures!
As a single parent, sometimes you just want to talk to other adults outside of work. I mean, I absolutely adore my kids, but the conversations with a six- and four-year can be somewhat limited. So when we were given the chance to attend my unit’s bowling night, I was more than happy to show up and support the event.