Hi there, it’s been awhile for sure!
Before I just jump right in I want to say that I hope that wherever you are reading this from, I pray that you, your family, loved ones, and friends are well, calm, and healthy. With all the news, misinformation, good information, and uncertainty that I’m sure many are feeling during this time due to COVID-19; I hope and pray that when you feel fear or anxiety settling in that you will pause and switch your focus to the good and have faith that this stormy time will pass.
In the meantime I’ve been trying to adjust to our new normal. Last Friday our girls’ school confirmed that they would be closing from 3/16 – 4/20 due to COVID-19, which includes their week off for Spring Break. Not going to lie my first thought was holy cow FIVE WEEKS?! And then I thought, ok well there’s still dance so that’ll be a nice energy burner for the girls & breather for this mama. And then as the day progressed we got word their dance studio would be closed for two weeks. Oh. My. Lord. 5 weeks of no school and no dance for two of those weeks – until further notice. My heart sort of took a dip.
As the weekend moved along the planner and control freak in me wanted to get on the business of establishing a routine for the girls, because 5 weeks off wasn’t going to mean a free for all for them. I swear I should’ve been a drill sergeant 😂. So needless to say by Monday (my day off work) I was in planner freak out mode. To the point my husband had to tell me to relax because it was barely the first day and we had 5 weeks to go.
Then came Tuesday and the flooding of email content from our oldest’s second grade teacher, and sign in and password information, and instructions on how to do X for the parents. And the same for our PreK child. And then I sort of froze. 😂 It was like the planner in me was done waiting and bolted and in came unsettled me. All I kept hearing in my head was lessons would begin Wednesday so best be sure you read and know all the stuff. I had nothing prepared. Except two separate stacks of pages and pages of work and information that needed to translate into making sure they each continue to learn. 😩 A second grader and a pre-k, could they be on more separate spheres of learning?!
Wednesday was the first day of assignments. I got off from a busy morning at work, picked up the girls from my parents house, ate a quick lunch and then took out the school tools. Thirty minutes into it I was silently saying F word. Just trying to get the setup of the apps going was a task on its own, then came the learning. If I played the lesson video for Elysse (pre-K) it would distract Celeste (2nd grade), and vice versu. So I thought, oh, headphones! Only to realize the headphone end connection wasn’t made to fit my phone or iPad so had to get them to use the earbuds. 🤦🏻♀️ It was a juggling game of giving Celeste an assignment she could do independently while I worked in the other room with Elysse. And then switch or both simultaneously. By the end of the schoolwork I was beat.
Serious praise for our kids teachers that do this daily with not one, but anywhere from 15 – 30+ kids of different temperaments, personalities, and learning abilities. They don’t get paid enough. We don’t appreciate them nearly enough. For real. I want to just run to them and hold them in a tight hug and say THANK YOU!
But today was better. Here’s something I learned. I’m going to make mistakes and get flustered. I also need to be flexible. It helped that I figured out I could buy an adapter so that rather than use the uncomfortable made-for-adults earbuds, they could use their own headphones with the adapter. I was initially going to order the adapter on Amazon but since they’re bombarded with toilet paper orders (yes that’s a jab at the hoarders trying to profit out of others), I checked out Best Buy and found an inexpensive adapter there. I also found an adapter that would connect from my iPad/phone to our printer because for whatever reason the wireless setup on our printer won’t work.
Be flexible. Be calm. This is what I keep telling myself. Some moments it works better than others. It’s not always easy but I’m doing my best. I sometimes feel inadequate so I give myself grace.
And to circle back to what’s happening with the spread and containment of COVID-19; I’m not immune to feelings of fear. But I don’t even let those feelings settle or linger in me. Because fear creates panic and hysteria. Instead I change my focus because as easily and quickly as negative news or information is received, I counter it with some good news.
A close friend texted me earlier and sent me a clip of some updates from Channel 7. And I reminded her that the media sadly loves to feed on stunning, shocking, and producing fear and anger in viewers. Yes this virus is something we need to be cautious of and informed. But when you find yourself inputting nothing but negative and fear based information, we need to stop and counter that with the good. Change our focus. Remain hopeful and trust that even if things get a little stormy and unsettling, the calm will come. But it has to start within us.
Be calm, spread love, and be understanding of others.