I told the kids that school was canceled for the rest of the year. I honestly wasn’t expecting a huge reaction (we’ve assumed this all along), but Harlow got really upset.

“Which part is upsetting you the most?” I asked her.

I was expecting her to talk about missing teachers and classmates, but instead she told me that she was in the middle of building a shelf in wood shop for her American Girl Dolls and that she would never get to finish the book she was writing. The book was supposed to be about an important event in her life and she had chosen the time we were dog sitting Otis and he tried to eat a rat while out for a walk. She had been working on it for months before school shut down.

“I worked so hard on it,” she cried.

I hadn’t even considered that unfinished projects might be something that would upset the kids. Mike calmed her down by saying that he was sure nothing was getting thrown out and that we could probably arrange to pick them up from the school at some point.

Then Mazzy, who has been known to roll her eyes at Harlow when she has an unnecessary meltdown, came in for a tight hug. Harlow, who has been known to tell Mazzy not to touch her when she is trying to calm down, accepted her big sister’s hug with her full body.

They stayed clutching each other for awhile as Harlow took some deep slow breaths and the sobs stopped. “You smell like pancakes, Mazzy,” she said finally.

“Is that a good thing?” Mazzy asked.


And then there was laughter and smiles again.


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