Different Childhood

I’m reading what “school” means in dystopian hell holes like NYC – kids are told not to talk and have to stare straight ahead at lunch, they are yelled at for touching a friend, they are not allowed to approach anybody, play or talk – and it confirms to me that the only place to live is in a small town in deep-red country.

There’s already a deep divide by political party. Imagine what it’s going to be like when the kids who had a normal childhood playing tag, eating lunch with friends, drawing maps and looking for treasures, licking the same lollipop with a bunch of best buddies, and having neighborhood barbecues grow up and have to share the country with the kids who had to stare straight ahead and sing songs about masks. Even within the same state, it’s all about how your zip code votes. I’m in Illinois but we are a deep-red dot, and this is what gives our children a happy, normal childhood.

19 thoughts on “Different Childhood

  1. Don’t believe everything you read? My kids go to public school in a deep blue zip code, county, and state and although my kids have a mask mandate at school (which, to be completely honest, they don’t seem to mind – my 8 yr old son thinks he looks like a ninja in his) they are doing everything else that you mention, except licking the same lollipop. They come home filthy, sweaty, and happy, which is exactly how it should be.

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      1. Yes, there are indoor activities and sports: it all came back when the school year started up again in mid August. Everything was 100% online from mid-March 2020 until mid-April 2021, which was clearly not great. However, it was mostly not great for me: my kids were (surprisingly?) okay, probably because at (then) 5 and 7, they were still young enough to value the extra time with me and their dad and I was able to schedule in trips up to the snow in winter and plenty of beach days, local hikes, etc so they had more “fun time” than they would if they’d been at school (online school days were significantly shorter than regular school days). They also both did a ton of reading. Older kids and kids from families that didn’t have work flexibility had an infinitely tougher time. We were lucky for sure. Having said that we survived relatively unscathed, it was certainly past time for them to return when they went back after Spring Break last year. But my point was that, regardless of what happened last year, I don’t think the divide between kids in red/blue areas right now is anywhere near as great as it may appear from the sources you are reading. I think the extreme policies are a tiny minority, not the norm.

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    1. Same in Massachusetts.

      Most of the hyperbolic stuff you read online is just that, hyperbolic. Same goes for stories about those “crazy rednecks out to kill you” in red states. I’ve been to both blue and red states recently and everybody for the most part was very normal to me.

      I was in Florida twice and people still wore masks there in most indoor places that I visited, didn’t see much of a difference from “blue” areas. Maybe people are mostly the same throughout and the constant 24 hour news media and social media machine just wants to make things seem crazier than they really are.

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      1. I’m sorry, on Florida I have to disagree completely. It’s a different planet even from where I live. A completely different planet. My sister noticed it, too. The freedom, the normalcy, the lack of neurosis – it was so addictive my sister considered emigration to the US for the first time ever.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t know what blue areas you have been to, but there really isn’t much difference for me. I don’t think of anything I could do in Florida and other red states, that I could not do in the several blue states I’ve been to. It’s mostly all the same, for someone who has traveled quite a bit these past few months.

          Maybe Canada is just on another level entirely, same with New Zealand and Australia, they are nuts there.

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          1. I’m telling you, it’s on a different planet than what we have in Illinois. People are just… normal. Nobody barks at you. Nobody gives you dirty looks or says nasty things about your kids.

            We are from the USSR and very sensitive to the feeling of neurotic, angry unfreedoom.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter’s school has been surprisingly good considering we are in an urban district in a blue state…mask mandates, but we were in person all of last year save for 2 weeks after Thanksgiving and a week or 2 remote after winter break. They have indoor activities, she went to scrapbook club last year and will hopefully have in person Girl Scouts this year (last year it was all Zoom). We are going to a Latin Game Night at her school next week. They have mostly given up trying to control student behavior/distancing except for masking.

    However, I don’t trust it will stay this way and am working on a plan to move or save for private school in the next few years. My daughter’s cousins who are in private school all wear masks, too, so I’m not sure if it’s really much better. They also had more remote schools days than we did last year. I’m getting the ball rolling anyway.

    My husband is extremely pro-homeschool since this nonsense began and I do believe there’s value to that, but I also know my daughter needs socialization outside of our bubble and we can teach her or help her explore absolutely anything that interests her.

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  3. My kid goes to private school in a slightly purplish part of a very blue state. Our public schools did not open last year, when we decided to take her out and put her in a private school. This year, the public school has opened but has strict outdoor mask mandates. Our private school has all classes outdoors, but has decided to follow the public schools and institute an outdoor mask mandate as well. (Our state has indoor mask mandates in all schools.) The private school has resumed outdoor sports, but not indoor activities, and music classes, which they didn’t have last year.

    I really don’t know how this thing ends in this state. Like Victoria, we have also considered homeschooling, but my kid is very social and we both have super demanding jobs, which makes it challenging. One possibility is moving, which we are looking at. But I still despair.

    I’m curious to hear from some of the other commenters how school is going in other deep blue areas.

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    1. Even within the same town or tiny neighborhood, kids have radically different experiences of COVID based on which news sources the parents consume.

      My kid doesn’t even know the words COVID or coronavirus and doesn’t know I had it. Not that I concealed it or anything, but there were no visible symptoms, so it never came up.

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      1. I agree with this. My kids are aware of COVID but not massively stressed out about it because we have been clear to them that the risk to kids is very low and the measures we are taking (masking, distancing, online school) are mostly to protect others, like grandparents, who are at higher risk. Kids really do pick up on parental anxiety so we made a conscious effort to not worrit around them, even though we have been quite concerned for my husband, who is at high risk of long term complications. We’re not out of the woods yet, but I honestly think my kids will look back on 2020 as the year we had a lot of fun together 🙂

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          1. Thank you. The fun stuff came at the cost of a significant hit to my fledgling business and many late nights working for me, but we were in a position where this was okay for us and I would do it again in a heartbeat. But even for those not in such a fortunate position, it seems a no-brainer to keep as much worry away from your kids as possible. I have been saddened by the needless over-sharing of parental Covid anxiety I have seen with some kids 😦

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  4. I live in a large city in Missouri in a sea of red and my 12-year old has to wear a mask and social distance. He is in a special needs class and really struggles. They can take the masks off if they sit at their desks. School board meetings are closed but the superintendent is obviously left-leaning and all of his plans presented to the board were “masks and social distancing” and we are prodded to vaccinate as soon as possible. I got a religious exemption for my child.

    Even though we are a year and a half into this mess, we are still quarantining – which I question. I got a call on Thursday that my child was “exposed via mask to mask” (what in the hell does that even mean?) and could “quarantine at home or at school”. They have to report cases to the state. What’s strange is that the kid who “exposed him to Covid” is the same kid who “exposed him to Covid” last year and we had to quarantine. I didn’t realize people get Covid twice. But what do I know?

    My child has to daily deal with children from the Covid terrified offspring of oversharing parents. But candidly, it’s not half as bad as dealing with the transgender kids and the “furries”. They tease him incessantly because “he’s not gay”. There are boys that wear frilly sundresses to school and girls who dress like boys and act brutish. I won’t let him ride the bus because they are so aggressively mean.

    I want to quit and homeschool. Like – I really want to! But he is a type 1 diabetic and our insurance is through my job. The price of insulin is outrageous. I never did benefit from Trump reducing the cost and Biden cancelled that executive order because… well, he hates diabetics I guess. But I digress…

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    1. Now and then, after a couple of rough days where, say, kids did not want to do math, or we had to make an emergency trip to the hardware store and as a result NO schoolwork got done, I start feeling insecure and questioning our decision to homeschool. And then I read something like this.

      Ok, yeah. Right decision after all. We’re good.

      Liked by 1 person

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