Several significant events in our house over the past few days. Let’s get caught up.
When I picked M up from school last Wednesday she had a weird look on her face. “Everyone says school is shutting down after this week,” she exclaimed. Apparently each day a few more kids were not showing up to class either because they were Covid positive or were quarantining because of close contact with a positive person. At least one teacher had tested positive as well.
Thursday the mayor and county health commissioner had their weekly Covid press conference. Numbers were rising at an alarming rate. What was most concerning was that the age group with the highest positivity rate was high schoolers. Because of that, all Marion County schools, public and private, were being ordered to move to virtual schooling no later than November 30 and to remain virtual until at least January 15. This makes sense given the numbers, although pretty much everyone agrees kids aren’t getting sick because of what is going on at school, but what they are doing outside of school.
S is home on Thursdays and we speculated how long each school would last.
St P’s answered first: they are going to try to make it to November 24. However, since that announcement two of our basketball teams have had to drop out of the city tournament because a fifth grade player and her dad that coaches the eighth graders were both positive. Luckily C wasn’t deemed to have close contact with the girls on the 8th grade team so she can remain in school. We’ve heard of several other St P’s students and a teacher who have tested positive since then. Not sure the odds are great we make it to Nov. 24.
CHS was quicker. Right after dismissal Thursday they announced that Friday would be their last day of in-person classes.
Our girls have mixed feelings about this. M was the most bummed, primarily because she is the most social and has a need to see her friends face-to-face. I think C and L are kind of excited about getting out of school for awhile and a little fearful about getting sick, so they were generally ok with it. Until they realized this wipes out all the in-school Christmas traditions. I didn’t mention to C that I’m starting to worry about whether her class will be able to take their trip to Washington, D.C. in the spring, too.
Strangely some of the schools in surrounding counties with much higher positive rates than Marion County are staying in session for the time being. I figured the freshly re-elected governor would start cranking down restrictions and guidelines again, especially since this outbreak seems much more widespread than the first two. It’s not just big, urban counties that are struggling this time, but counties all over the state. He seems to have caved, though, to the nut jobs on the right who think that asking people to wear masks is some massive intrusion on their rights. He has yet to announce any new guidelines for schools outside of Marion County.
So, M is home today and will be for at least two months. Hopefully C and L can get through seven more days before they are stuck at home with me through the holidays.
After last week’s car shopping catastrophe, S spent the week looking online for a new Jeep Cherokee. She did some back-and-forth with a sales guy all week before she locked in on the one she wanted Saturday. A few more emails back-and-forth and we went over at 4:30 that afternoon to pick up her new ride.
It was, by far, our easiest car buying experience ever. Neither one of us likes all the rigamarole that goes into purchasing a car, but she has even less tolerance for all that BS than I do. Saturday we walked into the dealership, waited about 30 seconds, were escorted back to the office, she signed paperwork for five minutes, and we walked out with the keys. Since she has had two Jeeps in the past they didn’t even have to show us how the car worked. They just waved goodbye and sent us on our way.
So now we have three cars. I guess since M won’t leave the house to go to school for two months we don’t have to worry about a school parking pass just yet.
Sunday L’s team played their opening game in the city basketball tournament. We were playing the team with the giant that beat us two weeks ago by 16. We spent an entire practice Tuesday working on a special defense to counter a press-break play they used against us the first time. At practice Thursday we had our tallest girls guard me so we could teach them how to deny the post on the 6-footer. We worked on shots that would be open in their zone. We felt prepared and ready.
Then about an hour before the game we found out on of our three tall girls would miss the game because her brother was sick.
Great. None of our girls are anywhere near as big as the giant, but losing a body hurt.
We started out down 7–0 and the head coach and I were both muttering under our breath on the bench. We started down 12–0 the first time and sure seemed to be on that track again.
But our girls got their shit together and clawed back into it. We were down three at halftime. We cut it to one twice in the third quarter, but St L kept stretching it out to +5.
As we began the fourth quarter we told the girls that they were playing great and made a small adjustment on defense. We preached to them that if they kept being aggressive we could win the game.
Our girls played their best quarter of the year. They were flying around on defense. We were actually making smart, quick passes on offense. We were looking to take shots even when the big girl was blocking them. We even hit a few of them. We made it a one-point game three times but could not get over the hump.
We were down three with about forty-five seconds left and had our best player going to the line for two shots. We called a time out because she looked wiped out. We made another change to our defense and our head coach did the perfect thing. She said, “After M makes both free throws, here’s how we’re going to guard them…” This was HUGE because W was something like 1–12 from the line up to that point. No exaggeration: she had missed at least 10 free throws.
After the time out she went out and knocked them both down and we were down one.
They broke our press and we realized we needed to start fouling and fouling often, because we only had three team fouls. As we were yelling at our girls to foul, St L threw a bad pass, our best player grabbed it, went full court, and actually made a freaking lay-up to give us our first lead. The greatly reduced crowd was going nuts. L was on the bench – because we had sat her to rest and everyone was playing awesome – and she was going nuts.
St L called a timeout with 15 seconds left, inbounding in front of their bench. We told our girls to stay back, force them to shoot jumpers, do not let the big girl roll to the basket. Naturally in the crush of bodies the big girl got a little daylight, they tossed the ball to her, and she banked one in with 10 seconds left. We got the ball up court but lost it out of bounds. We couldn’t get a steal on the inbound pass and the game was over.
Our girl who missed all the free throws was in tears. But the rest of the team all had excited looks on their faces. They knew they had played their asses off and played really well. “If we had a seven footer, too,” yes, she said seven footer, “we would have won that game!” the head coach told them. They all laughed. We told them that was the best they had ever played and that we were super proud of them. Even though we lost, it was a highly satisfying end to a season in which we had played really poorly over our last three games.
One other funny note from the game.
We have a dad who is very loud. He is a real pain in the ass. He’s had a few issues in the past and is not allowed to coach at St P’s teams anymore. His voice stands out in a normal gym. In a lightly-filled Covid gym you hear everything he says.
During a timeout early in the fourth quarter one of the refs tapped me on the shoulder and motioned me away from our huddle. “Oh shit,” I thought, “he’s going to ask me to go tell Loud Dad to pipe down.” That’s the last thing I wanted to do in the closing moments of a tight game.
But he surprised me. “Hey, what kind of shoes are those?” He asked nodding toward my shoes. I was wearing Adidas spikeless golf shoes that are my every day shoes. I told him what they were and where I got them. “I wear these everywhere, they’re super comfortable.”
“All right, I’m going to check those out, thanks.”
I told him I thought he had heard me say something on the bench and was telling me to pipe down. We both laughed.
That, my friends, was a first.