Working from home has been quite interesting to say the least. No more packing lunches and rushing in the morning with my 8th grader’s breakfast falling out of her hands, and getting out of the door just in time to navigate through the buses and what seems like the entire West Valley traffic right outside my door. A one minute drive to my school would take 18 whole minutes, people!
But I miss that chaos. There was so much order in it.
Now I’m cooking a lot more. My kids seem to be hungry all the time. They don’t ask for fancy meals but I find myself bursting with creative juices. I also seem to be cleaning a lot more. My husband is still going to work everyday and when he enters the house, I see him as a socially-undistanced person and a threat to my beautifully sanitized home (I exaggerate) though truth be told, they are being very safe and mindful at their “essential” workplace and we are grateful. I seem to be doing a lot more laundry as well! All of my OCD has been coming out in different ways, some creative, some utterly annoying as I hear sighs of frustration from my family members. I have created more work for myself in addition to our online teaching experimentation and delivery. I guess we have all found our own special ways of dealing with this quarantine life.
Overall, I am spending a great deal of time with my daughters. I have always enjoyed that and now there’s a part of me that secretly craves conversations with teenagers. Those of you who teach this age of kids know what I am talking about. Teenagers are the most beautiful people ever. They are little adults that need love, attention and validation, and when they get all of that, they gracefully accept whatever direction you may have for them. They are so hungry to be heard. And oh goodness, how lovely do they sound! I have to throw something in here:
As I’m writing this note, my younger daughter calls out for me from upstairs:
Daughter: Mom, can you come upstairs?
Me: Oh, I just sat down. Today was bathrooms cleaning day, then I showered, then I cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen and I just sat down.
Daughter: If you’re struggling being a parent then you should have thought twice about becoming a parent when you did!
Me: No sweetheart, no struggle here. I love being a parent.
How can you not love these little sassy younglings? She just wanted me to sit on her bed so she could chat with me while she colored in her room. I should have listened before bursting out with my life rants. Sometimes I, the parent need to grow up.
So as I was saying, isn’t it amazing how a tiny little inconspicuous virus has been controlling our lives these last few weeks? Makes me humbled, and a little mad because now I need to wear a nifty face mask and think many times before going out. There’s also perspective thrown at me about how I think I have my life in control after so many years of working hard and all of sudden, one day I am told, as are all of you, that we can’t do what we have been trained to do anymore, that we can’t touch things as we please and sit with friends when we feel like. Hashtag wow! Hashtag perspective.
I guess we get to experience a new lifestyle and create a new normal now. Just read a bunch of posts by my teacher friends. Feel blessed to belong to a community of people who are so passionate. I know that we will make this school year worthwhile in the most innovative of ways. I’m thinking of all the learning that will happen for us teachers. I’m thinking of the so many adjustments parents and students will make, and some days it will not be pretty and kind. Graduations, finals, SATs, college admissions, missions, proms, concerts, plays — everything sits in an obscure space. But you know what, there is a greater purpose and meaning to all this, and like a wise man once said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
I am also thinking about the many folks around the world who have been affected by this situation in ways of finances and ill-health and unwelcome solitude. How I cherish the freedom we had and will have. I have faith that this too shall pass.
I just want all my friends and fam to know that I’m here for you. I can chat, talk, even come see you (if you live in my city) and stay 6ft away from you. If you need me to cook a meal, I will gladly do so. I pray for everyone’s health and protection. Please pray for us. We are together in this!