A winter storm blasted through Phoenix on Monday, ripping three screens off our office windows and leaving piles of white precipitation scattered around the playground. I learned later that there is a special name for this precipitation, graupel. Graupel is described as “water that accumulates on snow above the ground, then freezes and creates a small frozen mass. It looks sort of like small hail, but with numerous pellets.”
The wind and rain tested our COVID-19 protocols as well, both at drop-off and pick-up. As droplets turned into steady rain, we had to bust out the tent we used earlier in the year to keep our temperature taker and data recorder dry. The sign-in sheets started out the day next to the building under a narrow awning to keep them from getting soaked. They were later moved into the office, then back outside as the rain subsided.
It was a bit worrisome around 1:30, around the time the screens blew off, when we couldn’t even see out our windows. The idea of driving with such poor visibility was less than desirable. Somehow, though, the storm let up close to pick-up time. For good measure, and to keep the sign-up sheets protected from dripping trees overhead, we incorporated a large umbrella at the west gate. Once parents began to arrive, we continued our regular routine of escorting children out to their parents. The added mud and puddles on the south side were a slight temptation, but we managed to successfully deliver every child to his or her parent without anyone taking a dive in the water. Through the perseverance of our staff and cooperation from Mother Nature, we used our flexibility and and resilience to overcome one more challenge of life with COVID-19.
Each day of the pandemic seems to be another exercise in patience and openness to yet one more life lesson. As we continue practicing this as a staff, we greatly appreciate the understanding of our community. We have no idea how long we’ll need to operate under the current conditions, and when we have answers to your questions, we’ll offer them in a timely manner. When it’s time to open up to a maskless version of Awakening Seed, we’ll be ready. When it’s safe to mix our groups and allow parents in the building again, we’ll happily make those adjustments. Until then, we’ll keep showing up, rain or shine, doing our best to keep everyone safe and healthy, engaged in the work before us.