By nature, humans are creatures of habit. Have you ever stopped to notice your own rituals or habits? The last seven months turned our world upside down. The world, as we know it, came to a grinding halt. We unlearned routines and learned new ways to cope with different work, home, and family-life stressors.
Our epic return to campus was just one month ago. New routines have been solidified, and joy has returned to campus. Our faculty and staff work daily to keep our students safe and make magic each day your child steps out of the car.
With the return to a measurable degree of "normalcy," the restrictions of cohorts and daily life are still in existence and more important than ever. I must confess that I feel myself growing weary of much of this "new abnormal." I long to visit my family frequently and freely. I wish I could gather with friends and be "normal" and do as I please. I remind myself that this is temporary and that we are so fortunate to do what we do each day at FH.
As we enter the holiday season, it is more important than ever for us to stay hypervigilant and work to keep our school open. We often talk about our shared sacrifice this fall, and I can tell you it is so worth it as I walk through the hallways of our school. It is more than evident that we are ready to tackle any challenge that comes our way, but our preference is to keep our on-campus learning environment thriving!
I was thinking back to the last time we had an unexpected October. I vividly remember the fall of 2012 when Superstorm Sandy hit our area. We were without power for almost three weeks and relied on the hospitality of our family and friends. The storm hit on October 29, and at that moment, I had a hopeful son who desperately wanted to trick or treat. The pull to be a "good parent" washed over me, and I made the trek back to my town through detours and delays to gather important Halloween costumes. It was a crisp fall day, and our property looked like a post-tornado wasteland. I recall walking down my driveway—crossing over wires and side-stepping tree limbs—to collect my son's Halloween costume from the hall closet. I grabbed the ghoulish costume (typical of a fourth-grader) and made my way back to my friend's house where we were staying. When I walked back in, she sadly revealed the Governor had postponed this most important day in an elementary school child's life. My youngest son was rather upset at the "unfair" nature of this blow, but we spent some time as a family unpacking the series of unfortunate events. We worked to find a different tradition to mark the holiday, and quite honestly, eight years later, my son didn't even recall he missed trick or treating of that year, but I sure do!
As parents, we want so much to make things right for our children, but it is often our worry, not our child's, that tips the scales. Children are more resilient than you know, and that muscle needs to be flexed regularly to become stronger.
I know the fear of missing out is a real thing. Just ask any middle schooler about "FOMO." In order to make sure we don't miss out on staying connected and sharing joy in our community, we have an awesome community event on tap this month—our very own Drive-in Movie. It's just one of the ways that our collective community of creative problem-solvers at FH is working to help us feel normal. I hope to see you all at this incredible event!
Until then, be well.
Georgia S. Zaiser, Head of School