Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Please Wait While We Put You On A Brief Hold

The last few Sunday nights, I get this pang when I remember that I am a teacher again come Monday morning. I have my degree in education, I love teaching children new things, but I was never going to be a classroom teacher, and certainly didn't plan on teaching my own children in a classroom of one. I have thought about homeschooling my children, but the thought was rather fleeting. My core belief is that the social interaction and life skills that comes from being with other people are such an important part of a child's education. I also feel that the space and time that my children and I spent away from each other during the school day are also an important part of my sanity.

I have embraced this time though and have even come to love a lot of it. To say that it is easy breezy and effortless would be a big fat lie. The emotions are big and colorful these days and there is a full rainbow of flavors hour to hour. My children are arguing, angry and annoyed with each other some of the time, and all of that is okay. I am trying to teach them the difference between being upset and being mean. One is okay and the other is unacceptable. I am also seeing growth and communication like never before. My daughter has been able to get upset, and then come around to say she overreacted. My son has learned to describe why he gets frustrated and that when his sister (who is always one step ahead of him) get's bossy, he doesn't like it. So much of the time I listen to both of them and end up saying, "I know, I agree with you, this is so hard."

There is so much we are getting out of all this time we have. My kids are being so much more creative with how they play. They are learning more life skills each day. I introduced my daughter to the vacuum and washing machine. My son learned how to clean baseboards and wipe the table down each night. They also learned, probably faster than I am learning, that so much in life is out of our control. We all got the news back in March that our lives were about to change, and each day it seemed the measures we had to stay healthy and protected were more drastic than the ones that came the day before. I know I got a crazy set of extreme emotions as a result of the news. I was scared, sad, disappointed, frustrated, resentful and on and on and on. On the days that it got hot, I walked by the recently closed pool in our neighborhood, and felt like it was teasing me from behind the locked gate. I got panicky behind my face mask when I felt too hot and wondered when and if things will ever be normal again.

I heard the news about school being closed for the rest of the school year and I couldn't process it. It seemed too hard to wrap my ahead around, and too far ahead in the future. This situation has forced me to stay in this moment, right here, right now. None of us know the answers. We could have never guessed how catastrophic a turn this virus would spin us in. I feel strange just even expressing all these feelings while some people are trying to adjust to losing someone they love to COVID-19. It's a pretty sucky time in the world and in some ways, I think being home on lockdown is the easy part. When the world slowly opens up again, I think it will be harder. Some people will have so much fear about being vulnerable to getting sick, while others will try to go back too quickly. It is taking us a while to adjust to all this change we are living with now, I wonder undoing the restrictions will cause even more shock to our systems.

I don't know much for certain these days, except that my kids have learned to deal with this change better than I have. This has resulted in them being so resilient and resourceful. While we wait, I am going to take some time learning from them. After all, I am getting a bit tired of being the teacher all the time.

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