Wilton families adjust to new normal

(Editors’ note: This story was prepared before the most recent closings of playgrounds and playing fields. Reporter Jarret Liotta maintained a safe distance when speaking with people and taking their pictures.)

WILTON — For the Householder family, new coronavirus-related practices present their challenges, but they understand it could be worse for others.

“We’re fortunate because we work in town,” said Chuck Householder, who was simultaneously grateful for the opportunity to bring his daughters —B rooke and Nicole — out to the playground at Miller-Driscoll School last Friday afternoon.

“They’re really good,” he said of the girls, whose school has been canceled indefinitely.

“As a parent you’re concerned,” he said, especially with the question of how to explain a unique situation to younger children in a strange and changing time.

“I was concerned about that,” he said.

But with a thick two-week package of take-home work from the school, as well as online programs that can be accessed from their home computer, Householder said things are turning out fine.

“We’re fortunate the kids have access to the computer at home,” he said, highlighting that students in some communities do not and may not until schools and libraries reopen.

“We’re doing a lot of projects at home,” said Wilton parent Liz Shaw, “and keeping the kids busy.”

“The kids have been great,” she said, adjusting to a new, albeit temporary, lifestyle.

“And we’re trying to get outside as much as possible,” she said, having brought her boys — Harry and Whit — out to Merwin Meadows on Friday to enjoy some sunshine.

“We’re glad to have this great weather,” she said.

At the same time, she and others are striving to be vigilant in terms of contact and proximity with their neighbors.

“I’m trying to be extra careful,” Shaw said.

“This is my first time really out in a week,” said Wilton resident Zara Wiest, who ironically suffered a bout of food poisoning in the midst of recent events.

“At least it’s warm out now, so we can do things outside,” she said, taking her dog Hazel for a walk downtown.

“So you can still see other people,” she said. “You’re not like confined in a building.”

Parent Juliet Craig of Wilton is additionally pleased for the extra time with her daughter, Natalie.

“We’re taking walks and trying to spend time together and do things we wouldn’t normally have time to do,” she said, “like clean the garage.”

“We’re looking forward to starting online learning next week,” she joked, though Natalie wasn’t as enthusiastic.

Asked about trying to not interact as much publicly, Craig said it was acceptable.

“The community is very important to us,” she said, “and we’ll do whatever we need to do to keep everyone safe for as long as it takes.”