We had a very special Zoom call yesterday afternoon, initiated by one of our families. This was our first time connecting with one another through this tool. I loved seeing everyone's faces, and hearing the happy pandemonium of all the children's voices. I've been on a few Zoom calls in recent days, having needed to connect virtually with a variety of groups of people during this health crisis. I think this was the first Zoom call where there did not seem to be anyone "administering." There was no one turning off and on the various mics from afar, no one helping participants to take turns in their talking. It was a glorious free for all!
I loved seeing all the families together...many of the children have siblings, either younger or older, and there everyone was, together, making faces, laughing, and talking.
I thought the parents looked remarkably relaxed and happy. This new normal started back on Thursday, March 12, 2020, when the President declared a national emergency and schools were closed that very next day. Relaxed and happy, on your 11th day home with your children in this surprising, unforeseen way? Go, families! You rock!!
I heard so many caring expressions from the children -
- "I want to hear ____ talk; isn't it ____'s turn?" said one preschooler;
- Another showed a page from their new journal and a classmate responded, "I like that!!"
- "How about I try to talk to everybody?" one preschooler asked, diplomatically.
There was so much love and affection between all the kids and their families - sitting on laps, sharing snacks, stretching and moving while being held by a loving parent, squeezing closely together...so dear!
There were a series of unexpected and absurd conversation topics -
- why do people kill alligators and crocodiles?
- these are the lovies I sleep with at night.
- do you know Darth Vader?
All the children had things to share: Legos, costumes (lots of princess dresses!), journals, drawings, paintings, and stories. There was an impromptu book sharing, with preschoolers leaving their video feed to search their homes for favorite stories, to show these to their classmates. So cute! They see themselves as readers, wanting to learn more about everything.
We were so charmed by this exuberant time together, we are thinking that weekly "Zoom gatherings" would be a fun routine to add to this new normal. More to come!