CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Being a grandparent is wonderful. There’s a bumper sticker that says, “If I knew being a grandparent was so wonderful, I would have started with it.” Ba da boom.
But being a grandparent is like being in the House of Lords in Britain. It brings some measure of importance and allows you to give advice. And like in the House of Lords, the advice of grandparents is often not taken.
I also loved being a parent, and all its challenges. Confronting all the challenges of each stage of my children’s life. When to start schooling. If they should go to Montessori. Should the boys play baseball or soccer or both and at what age?
In today’s world, I am much happier being a grandparent and schooling decisions are a primary reason. They were never life and death decisions; now they are.
There’s the frustration of who really gets to make decisions on what public schools will look when they reopen on August 19 in Broward County. Since learning will be virtual, when will classes start (morning, afternoon)? Will teachers be working from their home computers or logging on from their classrooms? Will the teachers, your friends and neighbors, be safe if they do end up in a classroom?
The keeping up with all of this is like playing whack-a-mole, a game that was fun when it was meaningless, now not-so-much. And there’s more. Will the little ones and their big brothers and sisters start at the same time? Will they have the same school protocols?
There are more hybrid school opening models floating around than there are hybrid cars. To cut class sizes in half or have two sessions a day. Those of you from New York who went to public school in the late ‘50’s/early ‘60’s will remember the over-crowding crisis and some students going to high school early in the morning and others at about 1 pm.
Some Florida educators are even talking about doing much of the schooling outside. In August and September? If the kids are safer from Covid, they might end suffering from heatstroke or be blown away by a hurricane. Not really, on the latter, though the tropics are beginning to boil, but you get the point.
So, there you are in Coral Springs, a town noted for being family-friendly. Someone will soon make big decisions on what school will be like for your children or grandchildren. You know young children need socialization learning as much as the education, but you also know that instead of the annoying colds they might catch in a normal year, this year they could catch something dreadful.
To whom do you listen? The answer: methinks is in thy inner self. We all know the saying, “Happy wife, happy life.” Well add to that,” Happy parents, happy children.”
The best decision for your children, long term, will be the decision you, their parents make, so long as you, the parent, are able to fill in any holes left in your children’s daytime lives.
Read William A. Gralnick’s previous column for TAPInto Coral Springs:
A resident of South Florida for more than 30 years, Bill Gralnick has written more than 900 op-eds and columns for newspapers around the country, including columns for the Brooklyn Eagle.
His latest book, found on Amazon.com, Kindle or paperback, is the coming-of-age memoir, “The War of the Itchy Balls and Other Tales from Brooklyn.”
His writings can be found on his website: williamgralnickauthor.com
Know a story we should share with our readers? Email editor Leon Fooksman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell him about it.