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The Mast-Head: Summer Is a Coming In

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 17:37

It hit me yesterday, when one of the kids pointed out that she was going to be done with school in two weeks, what the heck are we doing to do with them this summer with camps not opening and movement still restricted?

All three of the Rattray brood have been back under one roof since March. Evvy, the middle one, came home from boarding school for winter break and never left; her belongings are still in the room she shared with two other girls and will be boxed up and stored by school staff in anticipation of their probable return in the fall. Her sister, Adelia, here from college, is itching to see friends and seems only marginally interested in her spring courses.

Ellis, the youngest, has adapted the best of all of them to remote learning. The dining room table is his classroom, with art supplies and homework papers spread all over. At 10, the switch to a computer screen has been less of a change for him. He and his schoolmates seem to chatter away as they would during a real, physical morn­ing meeting.

Having their own spots has been critical. Adelia has a table in a small loft above her bed where she has classes and writes papers. Ellis’s takeover of the dining room allows us to keep an ear on him, making sure he is paying attention and hasn’t, for example, picked up Luna, the pug, waggling her paws at his classmates during math.

Evvy comes with me to the Star office, where she has claimed a desk in an otherwise empty newsroom. Unfortunately, I am at best a dull substitute for her friends, but she puts up with me, and when we can, we go out for a walk on Main Street to break the monotony.

When school is out, however, this routine will crumble. The two older kids can get jobs, I suppose, but as for Ellis, it’s a tough call. At the moment, we are thinking of turning the house into a kind of sports camp and taking turns keeping him entertained.

It’s going to be a long summer.

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