They can’t cancel a holiday … can they?

It was Tuesday morning when our weeks-long track record of getting our three daughters off to their elementary school on time came crashing down.

Our kindergartener, Nayvie, was mostly behind the meltdown.

“Can it just be Thanksgiving yet?” she asked through tears after throwing a fit over something I can’t even remember now.

It wasn’t all her fault. Our third grader’s 8 p.m. basketball practice the night before put the girls over an hour past their 7:30 p.m. bedtime. And we know better than to let them go past their bedtime on a school night.

Our first grader’s incessant dribbling of a basketball in the kitchen and our third grader’s inherent curiosity about everything didn’t help matters Tuesday.

“Is Thanksgiving even allowed this year?” asked Parlie, 9, referencing rumors she’s heard at school.

“They can’t cancel a holiday,” I told her.

Or can they?

My wife, Nicki, and I know it’s not so simple. As a potent second wave of the coronavirus washes over Idaho, the weeks leading up to the holidays have felt different.

And they will be different for families across the state. Last week, Gov. Brad Little signed a public health order moving Idaho back to a modified version of Stage 2 of the state’s four-stage reopening plan.

The order prohibits social gatherings of 10 people or more and comes at time when, like so many others, we may need a holiday with friends and family more than ever.

Aside from a lingering global pandemic, we’ve been scrambling to purchase a new home, move the kids for the second time in three months, prep for a newborn due in two weeks and ease our daughters’ minds about changing towns and schools.

Anticipation about the holidays has largely evaded us amid all the noise.

But it hasn’t evaded Nayvie, who went on Wednesday night about the prospect of a Thanksgiving “feast” at school.

“There will be turkey, watermelon and mashed potatoes,” she told me before bed.

The feast was great, Nayvie reported afterward. But even it was different. Last year, we got to join our then-kindergartener for her class feast.

We wanted to make Thursday night a little different for Nayvie. It was my night to plan dinner, which, Nicki says, is typically “different.”

Whatever.

I couldn’t cook a turkey, but I did score some fresh chicken tamales from a woman selling them for a buck apiece outside our local grocery store.

Some fresh salsa with chips and beans and rice from our favorite Mexican restaurant made it a hit, even for Dad.

Nayvie loved the tamales. I told her it was turkey inside.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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