To Everyone

Everybody is adjusting to the new and temporary normal. Whether you usually work from home, now have to work or receive your education at home, if you continue to commute to work, or if you are currently laid off, we are all in different situations and are struggling with how to cope with it. 

To the students: You are adjusting to a different way of receiving your education. It’s different and it’s hard. You miss your friends. You miss your teachers. You miss walking through the hallways or through campus. You miss the school activities you have had to abruptly stop. Seniors are mourning the end of their senior year because this is nothing like any of you expected. Athletes are mourning the loss of an entire season.  You all left school on that last day not knowing when you’ll see your friends and teachers again. We are all here for you. Everyone is here for you. 

To the teachers: You’re doing great. You are learning new ways to reach your students. You are doing enough. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t stress yourself out. Don’t ask yourself if you’re doing enough for your students because you are. You have worked with your colleagues  to create the best way you can teach your students. Your students are appreciative of what you are doing and look forward to the communication from you. They look up to you and are excited about the new experiences you are creating for them. You are doing enough. If you’re a cyber teacher, you may be accustomed to working from home and virtually but everything is different for you too. If you have kids at home with you, you now wear many hats during the work-day. You’re struggling to balance parenthood and work. If you don’t have kids home with you, your life has changed too. You are thinking about your family and their health. You are concerned for your students whose lives have also changed. Your routine has changed as well. Everything is different for everyone.

To the parents and grandparents: You’re doing great too. Amazing, actually. Your children, whether they are young or old, need you. Don’t compare yourself to other parents and grandparents. You are trying to help your child. You are trying to work from home or work out of the home while trying to care for your children and ensure they are getting what they need. Maybe you are laid off. I am praying for you and with you that you are able to go back to work because this has become a stressful time in your life. Whatever situation you are in at home, in the meantime, take advantage of the time you are given to be with your kids. You’ve seen social media posts with opinions, judgment, ideas, and organized work spaces created for your kids. My favorite has been the funny coping memes. Sometimes sarcasm and laughter are how I can get through things. So what do you do and what do I do? My kids are on their bed, the floor or a couch. Are they okay? Yep. It’s fine. Are yours the same? Then you and your kids are fine too. Don’t get stressed out.  Are are your kids goofing around and would they rather text or call their friend or play Roblox? Fine. Let them. They are stressed too. They are enjoying the free time. Lay down next to them. Watch a movie. Play a board game. Pull out that puzzle you’ve been thinking about doing for a while. We pulled out a Christmas puzzle we didn’t have time for last Christmas. See that? We didn’t have time. There’s never enough time. There is now. Embrace it. 

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Stink Bug Survivor

I’m not just all about the things my kids do. Even though they are mostly the individuals with incidents that make me laugh, cry or search for a rock to crawl under, I (occasionally) have some stories of my own.

Let’s take yesterday for example. Stink bugs. They’re such a pain. They have been showing up here and there over the winter, mostly in my bathroom. I see them alive and I see them dead. Yesterday, there was a dead one, on its back with the legs curled up, on the floor of my bathroom right in front of the toilet. It wasn’t moving, at all. Trust me, I watched it for a healthy minute to assess the situation. It was dead. I took 2 squares of toilet paper. Don’t waste it. You only need 2 squares! I grabbed the dead stink bug with the ever so economical 2 squares of toilet paper and made sure it was smack in the middle of the toilet paper and threw it in the toilet. It was completely between the two squares and the squares were floating on top of the water.

Now, I’m very aware of the water usage crisis, aka, water costs money and that my husband frequently reminisces to his childhood when in the summer, the motto was “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” They had a water crisis EVERY summer. Trust me, I hear about it every Christmas when the whole family is together. It’s comical every time I hear it. Anyway, I felt it necessary to just let it in there while I relieved myself. After all, it was dead, right? No use in wasting a flush on a dead stink bug when I can get a 2 for 1 flush. I was sooooo wrong.

While I’m sitting on the toilet, up comes the stink bug between my legs and I jump up and try to get it off my thigh. I finally get it off using 2 more frugal squares of toilet paper, throw it back into the toilet and press the handle for the momentous flush. Thank goodness I was “done” and there was no collateral damage. Except for now, I’ll be wasting my free flush on stink bugs.