COVID Vacation and a Sad Kitty

I was more irritated than concerned when the school nurse called earlier this year. Every time Connor coughs too loudly within earshot of particular people, especially in this era of COVID, he gets sent home sick… and has to have a doctor’s note to return.

My third-grader with allergies got sent home from school because of a cough and runny nose.

I understand the need for precautions, but it doesn’t make the experience any less annoying. This time, I decided to be extra thorough. Not only did I take him to Urgent Care to get evaluated, but I also requested the molecular (PCR) COVID test required by the Health Department for him to return to school. Even though they diagnosed him with an ear infection, so he had an alternative diagnosis. Even though he tested negative with the rapid test. Just to cover all bases.

Our path down the COVID flowchart took an unexpected turn when the PCR test came back positive.

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Dear Connor: Year Nine-and-a-Half

I wouldn’t normally post a Dear Connor letter for your half-birthday… but I didn’t post one for your ninth birthday, and 2020 was definitely NOT a normal year, so I don’t want to just skip it.

I suspect that someday, when you’re older and you look back on being eight years old, Second Grade will seem like a big blur of video games and remote schooling, with the occasional, “Wait, that happened when I was eight, too?”

Photo: Connor and Grammy playing a card game in Florida

I can remember pretty clearly being eight and nine years old, and it’s weird thinking about how I perceived myself when I was your age, versus how I see you now. You have a lot of the same curiosity and know-it-all attitude as I did, but you’re way crazier and more outgoing.

In the fall, you took a test that qualified you for the gifted program at school. You said that the 90 minutes of testing was a “nightmare,” which amused the teacher who was administering the test. It was a standard, old-school Scantron multiple choice test… but you’re used to tests on the computer, and you’re NOT used to testing for a couple of hours straight.

Now that you’re in GATE, you wish you weren’t, and you want to quit. You see it as busywork that takes you away from the things you’d rather be doing, like being social with your classmates. Luckily, once you qualify, you’re never disqualified; even if we decide that the enrichment activities in the elementary grades aren’t for you, you’ll still be able to enroll in the accelerated classes later on — and that’s really what matters to me. I wish they offered accelerated classes in the elementary grades, like I had at your age, but the program is what it is.

You have a very defined hierarchy of Things You’d Rather Be Doing. Most of those involve television or video games. Eating is pretty far down the list, but riding bikes with Dad used to be on the list (until you wore out your training wheels).

Reading for pleasure is something you only do when you have no other options: before bed, or during your scheduled reading time in the afternoon. This is completely foreign to me, as I read voraciously when I was as a kid — to be fair, though, I did love going to my best friend’s house to play Atari, and I would have done more gaming if I’d had my own console.

I know I tell you this a lot, but I’m really proud of you. You’ve stuck with karate for 2½ years. You always want to make people laugh. You’re secure in who you are.

You’re still only 9½, of course, so you still have a lot of growing and maturing to do… but you’re pretty awesome, all things considered.

Wesley and Connor

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: March 2021

Each year, this is when it begins.

Slowly but surely, the spring bulbs reach for the sun.

This year, in addition to the Reticulated Iris and the very beginnings of hyacinth buds, I also have cream-colored crocuses.

By the next Bloom Day, the daffodils and hyacinths will be in full force… but we mustn’t rush things.

Thanks as always to Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month! As Elizabeth Lawrence said, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.”

Spin Hook Kick!

Parents haven’t been allowed into the dojo during the pandemic; if we want to watch class, we watch over Facebook Live. Luckily, the camera was at just the right angle and Connor stood in the right line for me to screen-capture his spin hook kick today.

First Bloom

Purple Dwarf iris

These dwarf reticulated irises were an impulse buy from a big box store back in the fall of 2016, I believe. Ever since, they’ve been the first pop of color in the Early Spring Border in February or March.

Granted, they don’t deal as well with the March and April snows as their later-blooming neighbors — muscari, hyacinth, daffodils, brunnera — but I welcome their early flash of color every spring, even if it’s brief.

Lazer Pointer Thersday

Connor told me last night that he wanted to make this shirt in the morning; I gave him the OK, with the caveat that most of his markers are washable.

When I came downstairs this morning, I had completely forgotten about our shirt conversation — until I saw him wearing his creation. (I didn’t have the heart to mention his spelling errors after he’d already made the shirt). He managed to find a black marker that wasn’t washable, but he could only find a red washable one, “so be very careful when you wash this. Maybe put it on delicate.” I attempted to heat-set his t-shirt art by ironing it, so hopefully it doesn’t bleed too much during the course of the day.

I’ve been wanting to play around with screen printing for a while now… Hmm.

I still have no idea where he got the idea for Laser Pointer Thursday.