The announcement arrives at 5pm
On a Friday.
I’m moments out of a 45-minute plus 30-minute avalanche of info, parent meeting plus internal logistics of safely reopening.
An exhausting week of planning, replanning, planning again. Managing the safe reentry of 450 kids in the midst of of a pandemic is no longer easy. It probably never was.
I’m hopeful. And ready.
I slowly reach down to lace up my boots and extend my left leg, trying to get a stretch in before footie.
Looks wet out there
I pause and try to decide whether to tie my shoes now or later. For some reason I’ve never felt compulsive about tying before walking. Something in me likes the flip flap of loose string trailing behind in the grass.
I’m halfway out the door when I remember my mask
Probably need that
I step into the cool evening, mind overloaded and spilling over, when I see the arc of the ball.
I pick up my pace, ready to forget about school and life for a while and just kick things, when Mr. T says a quick hello and holds up his phone
I got a letter from the government.
Suddenly Chuck D takes over
…the other day, I opened and read it, it said they were suckers. They wanted me for their army or whatever
But am quickly jolted back to reality as he, not Chuck, informs me
It’s not good
I see the official stamp and detailed paragraphs in what appears to be some sort of government comm
We will not open Monday.
I pause, waiting for him to say he’s just kidding
The letter just arrived in my email. No schools in Hanoi will open Monday for grades 1-6.
I pause and wait for this turn of events to sink
So it goes, in these COVID times. We sit. And wait. And wonder about the best way forward.
That ball is going to get knocked tonight.