The new normal.


Ours came home Thursday.  If you have children in school, you probably received one too.  It’s the letter describing the “new” safety protocols.  The procedures aren’t new, at least ours aren’t; they’re really just a renewed commitment to the basics like “all visitors must enter through the front door,” and “the school will conduct periodic safety drills,” etc.  All of these measures were in place before, but enforcement had grown lax.  The only new rule is that teachers will be required to keep their classroom doors locked at all times.  So now it’s harder for a parent of a 2nd grader to help schlep in a science project and easier for a teacher to lock herself out, but they’re good common sense rules and even I can agree that we need them.

But I’m not fooling myself that we’ve actually done anything to make a real, long-term difference.  We’re comfortable talking about how to lock doors, secure playgrounds and practice safety drills but uncomfortable talking about kids who need help from trained mental health professionals.  We can’t even begin to have a rational discussion about guns, all sides having hunkered down in their deeply entrenched positions.

In case you missed the heart-wrenching December 14 blog entry from a mom of a child struggling with mental illness, here it is.  If you read it then, read it again.  Because faster than we’ll relax on that “don’t prop the back door open” rule, we’ll forget all about this, the terribly uncomfortable, very messy truth.


And now I’m changing the subject.  My sister tells me it’s helpful to announce such things.

The new normal for jenny’s lark will include a weekly post entitled “What’s for Dinner.”  It’s the next evolution of a two year, weekly menu planning experiment in our house as we’ve struggled to plate three squares, seven days a week, for two working parents and two active children.  Look for the first post later today, and remember that I’m not a trained chef, nutritionist, certified planner, or any such thing.  I’m a mom, daughter of a Junior League-trained stay-at-home housewife who cooked, cleaned and did the best she could with what she had, every day.  Don’t we all.


  1. All I know is, I was never happier, when my children were young and I was even a stay-at-home mom, than when I meal planned for the week. Shop once a week, toss leftovers into a meal two days later…I am so smart! When your children move back home with you later, you can insist that they contribute to the evening meal. But NO ONE wants to meal plan but Mom.


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