Sheltered Diaries: Officially Not Going Back

When your mom is a reporter, you get to hear before the rest of your friends that the governor will keep school buildings closed for the rest of the school year.

So today, when Tiny got out of his weekly Zoom meeting with his classmates (and again, he’s better at Zoom than me now), I told him that Gov. Greg Abbott said at today’s press conference that schools would be closed for the rest of the year.

Tiny: “Wait, does that mean Christmas, too?”

Me: “The rest of the school year.”

Tiny: “Oh, because that would be straight out of Dr. Suess.”

Me: “How do you feel about all of this?”

Tiny: “Well, I’m happy and sad. Happy that I don’t have to go to school every day, but sad because I’ll miss my friends. But also, you guys are not good at math.”

Then, giggling, he asked me, “Do we have enough beer for this?”

Yes, when your mom is a reporter, you might also become fluent in smart-aleck very early, too.

But all of this does mean that we parents (and our employers) are going to be faced with some interesting issues moving forward. What if your company eventually gets back to work (after all, the bulk of Abbott’s press conference was about gradually reopening the state’s economy) but you still have kids at home? What if you can’t afford childcare because you usually send them to school, for free? What if summer camps (which so many working parents rely on to help with childcare) don’t reopen, or reopen but with fewer spots available?

We’ll have more about Abbott’s press conference tomorrow, too.

As the two issues eventually intersect, we’re all going to have to figure things out. Are you already planning? Let us know in the comments.


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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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