Stangl

Autumn will soon be here. The signs of its arrival are all around us: shorter days, cooler evenings, dewy mornings, schools resuming classes and a general, barely discernible change in the air.

In a few weeks, it will be here, full on. But right now, fall is just off in the distance, like a thunderstorm on the northern horizon — you know it will be arriving, but for now, you can enjoy the calm before the storm.

So, the question is, what will you do with the last days of summer?

Go swimming? Hit the golf course? Go for a bike ride or walk on the trails?

Any would be fine, and all could be done this coming weekend, some could be done tonight. But with today being the start of the school year, concessions will be made to the routine, which will soon dictate how life is lived for many.

At the homes that have school age children, tonight will be about sharing information, regrouping, and in some cases bending wills to conform to the routine.

The parental interrogation usually goes like this: How did the first day of school go? Do you like your teacher? Did you make any new friends? Is that what you’re going to wear tomorrow? Really? Do you have any homework?

Depending on the relationship and the age of the child, some of the questions will be answered willingly. Others may crack over the dinner table. But the answers will be obtained. Resistance is futile.

Usually after supper and shortly before bed, children realize which indispensable school items they need for the next day, and a rushed purchase is made in the evening or early in the morning.

After a few days, the crises have all been worked out, the proper forms signed and returned and the routine has, as always, won out.

Never bet against the routine.

Parents of children who are just beginning school, it will get better. Parents who are seeing children off to college, try to focus on the new and exciting things your child will be doing. In time, the new routine will be a comfort to you.

With the topsy turvy times we are living in with coronavirus, the routine — whatever it is or will become — can be a rock to cling to in order to keep pushing though.

Do I go to school in person? Do I ride the bus? Do I wear a mask?

All of these questions have been asked and answered by school districts in the months leading up to right now. They have been running various scenarios and doing their level best to balance the public health needs versus the need for children to learn in person.

I can only imagine how daunting this task has been and will continue to be in the coming weeks and months.

I think the best thing we can all do in the next few weeks and months is try to be understanding and supportive. Supportive of our children, supportive of our teachers and support staff, supportive of the school administration and elected officials.

Finding common ground and getting students safely to and from school and even finding some time to learn is a daunting challenge in an average year. This year will take seemingly Herculean efforts from us all.

After a few days, the routine will win out. Keep the faith.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.