I watched the news relay and relay things to watch for, feel for, avoid, use a face cover, use hand sanitizer, you're only allowed one package of toilet paper- it's a mad house, in 2020. The fear media and people have enforced on one another is unbearable to watch, sometimes. It's like a horror flick that just. keeps. getting. worse.
In March of 2020, I was working as a nutritional staff member, lunch lady, at an elementary school in Indiana. The conversations had been talked about, the funny yet sarcastic with worry puns had been spun- but none of us could have related or understand what was coming. On March 13th, we were quarantined from returning to work and following weeks, we were quarantined to our homes. What did this mean for parents? Well, it meant a strain in stress of finances and obligations, questions on any assistance or revenue basing in at-home education and income, also- we became our children's teacher, overnight. I applaud the teachers and how amazing everything went, as stressful as it was, it was a ginormous experience on both ends. I went above and beyond to make it the easiest possible for our kids, as well as maintaining conversations about what was happening and helping them understand the importance of staying isolated and keeping everyone healthy. I have to state, my kids are troopers before me, every day.
During this shut down, we all experienced auras and moments of reflection we've only watched in documentaries on Netflix. The surreal part of it, is really what initiated my drive to what was coming next. I craved to know what was happening and I wanted to write about it, I wanted to report it. So here I am, newly renewed Christian and applying for my classes to earn my diploma, and ordering books from Amazon to jumpstart my career choice in Journalism. My kids were excelling in their classes, my youngest graduated Kindergarten with a diploma in "thinking outside of the box", it was a magical moments, regardless of what was happening outside in the world. I began hauling myself through online courses to get a good grasp and have a good start, ordered my transcripts and began keeping busy with a leadership class virtually being held with my mom's church. I eventually found an internship and won my way inside that, too; anything to keep my hands and my mind busy.
Eventually, this boredom came among us all and we found creative ways to soothe those irritations when they arose, until May 25, 2020. This erupted a new age of documentary memories once it began. On this day, an officer kneeled on the neck of an unarmed, cuffed black man, George Floyd, with citizens recording and telling him to get off, he was killing him. After this happened, a race war began and where there's anger, there's destruction. We still have not moved from the protests, as more causes are being protested against and more lives are being traumatized or dissolved. I dug deep into this movement in the beginning, isolating myself from my family to know every spectacle to keep our family safe. I felt like a watch dog, ready to bare my teeth and change the world, but I have come to terms with the fact that is not His will and I am not a world changing person, but I can write about it. I can leave this here, for you to read and understand, this time was horrific, full of injustice and corruption- and no one told the truth, so you never knew the next move.
Fast forward to today, where violence is so active, we're getting a notification on our cell phones nearly every hour. Neighbors against neighbors, family against family, friends against friends- it's heart wrenching. With all of these times, though, things have to go back to normal- right? Our kids are finally being released into school environment again, after many delays and confusing regulations and changes. Here's the problem; they can't be near each other, teachers can't even set a classroom with the guidelines because of classroom sizes, and unfortunately many people can't not send their kids to school due to work. This entire escalation of webbed fear, has now set an illusion that these kids can return to normal.
We need to understand and empathize with our children most. In school and at home. Why? Because these are our future leaders and citizens, we are raising mini adults with every possibility can they make this world just a little bit better of a place. It starts with us as parents and educators. With the changes we've come into play during this pandemic, we need to remember that these children are fragile minded, no matter how stubborn a child may be, their routine is interrupted and their balances are out of sorts due to quarantine and little to no social involvement. I worry not everyone is going to empathize with children to the degree they need, because we do expect a lot of children, when ironically enough, we still don't have answers for everything.
I pray we can all keep a clear head when this school season starts off and we can show these kids that even with bad happenings, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a bit more hard work can make things light and happy again. Teach your children to love themselves and everyone around them, teach them to wish well and/or pray for their enemies, if you're religious. Teach them that we ALL have toxic capabilities and we need to smother those negative emotions before reacting out of retaliation. Teach them struggle is within all of us, every human, we're all one race and bleed the same. Teach them to embrace their emotions but use their minds for decision upon action. Share your truth and your faults and let them know they are not alone.
We have lost enough lives to this virus, let's not lose more to ego or suicide.