Friendships are Hard

Day #537

I’m coming off the weekend feeling sad & exhausted, despite some personal feats.

I became an ordained minister over the summer & on Saturday I married my childhood best friend and the boyfriend she met over 20 years ago.

Let me start by saying what a mistake that was 🤦🏻‍♀️

I mean, it was sort of fun/sort of nerve wracking. It was fun to stand up there with the groom & watch everyone come down the aisle.

My friend posted pictures today.

I HATE my hair. I HATE my outfit. I HATE my face. And I HATE that I am in all of their most intimate of pictures at the alter.

So yeah, no more marrying someone I know.

I went up alone Friday night while my family joined me on Saturday.

The bride has been my friend since around 3rd grade. We’ve gone through a few phases throughout the years, sometimes not speaking for a year or so. Not out of anger or anything, just being at a different place in life.

When my oldest was born she was around a lot. Consequently, he is very close to both of them (friend & her new hubby).

Shortly after my youngest was born they moved 1 1/2 hour north, where he grew up. Therefore, my youngest just doesn’t have the same relationship with them.

Several years ago, they began driving off -road -vehicles as a weekend hobby. With it came a new set of friends.

While it was fun to be up north with all of the wedding excitement, it was also extremely sad. I felt like city mouse visits country mouse and that I didn’t belong. 

It made me want to cry, actually, and felt like I was grieving the close friendship that we used to share. 

It was totally unexpected because I have already done this. Years ago, I went through this and since then we are in a really great place with our friendship. So why was I feeling this way again? Additionally, my family and I have an open invitation to go camping with them and their friends, and she never fails to remind me that we are welcome. We try to make it up whenever we can, but life gets busy. 

Feeling this way made me feel even more crappy because her friends are so nice. They welcomed me Friday night and never let me feel like an outsider. 

Occasionally throughout the weekend, I had to find a quiet spot for several moments to decompress. I recognized the feelings and realized that in the past this situation would have been much different. I’m talking about pre-recovery years when I had no idea about the importance of self-care and coping skills. I wouldn’t have understood why I wanted to be alone and I would have become angry, probably at everyone there. I would have been reaching for the vodka 5 minutes after arriving.

Instead, I got my quiet time and emerged when I felt ready. Refreshed, grateful for the quiet moment and not feeling anger at anyone. That was a success! 

We left the wedding earlier than expected, mostly because I was completely exhausted, plus the drinking was starting to get heavy. My oldest remarked on the way home that he only knew a few people there. I think my whole family was a little sad afterwards, realizing what a backseat we’ve taken in their lives. 

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to drink on Saturday. I didn’t know if I would be super tempted, and was going to allow myself to if I really felt the desire. My intention was to get right back on track afterwards. Even with homemade moonshine at every table, I didn’t have much of an urge. I can thank my past relapses for that. I know that drinking after a long period of abstaining is never fun the first night. The alcohol tastes terrible, the buzz sucks and the hangover anxiety is nearly unbearable. 

I definitely would have been more social if I had been drinking. I am very quiet and reserved without it. But, I can live with that. I’m currently trying to embrace it 😉

As far as the friendship goes, I know that my remorseful reaction to this situation is something I need to look at within myself. I guess I’ll chalk it up to another lesson of 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Birds

For the longest time, I haven’t been the biggest fan of birds.

I think it started when I was a teenager working at the vet clinic. We had an avian doctor and I hated, repeat hated working with the birds. They were so delicate, you could crush them with the wrong move of your finger, yet some of the exotic birds were strong enough to take off your finger. If a bird was sick, we sometimes took x rays and/or drew blood from it’s tiny veins. None of this was fun and I would do anything to get out of a bird appointment.

The big birds around here aren’t always so nice. The geese sometimes chase me on my bike (I admit to verbally honking at them occasionally) and the swans have threatened to overturn my kayak. We had a huge herrin eating all the fish in our pond one year. Plus, they poop everywhere, gross. Oh, and there’s an eagle up north who watches our small dogs looking pretty hangry and I’m paranoid one of the little ones is going to become a meal.

And I can’t forget the darn pelicans in South Florida. They attacked all the tourists feeding the tarpon fish and we had to Kung-Fo them to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, my oldest wasn’t fast enough.

 

But I don’t want any creature to suffer, not even the most pretentious avian varieties.

Yesterday Will and Andrew came inside talking about a huge frog in the pond that was flopping around. Well, I’ve never seen our frogs flopping in the pond so I went outside to see.

He had something in its mouth. It looked like a twig, but what I was seeing was actually a bird’s leg. My first thought was that the frog was choking. I yelled for the boys to help, I mean that frog needed the heimlich or something. Hubby came out said he’s fine, he’s just eating and we should take away his meal. Maybe he was right, so I walked away, not wanting to see the outcome. The frog was ok, but the bird was too big to eat (warning, graphic photo below).

I left the bird there, thinking someone would eat it. It’s a day later and still there so I guess I should get it out.

I felt bad & actually had the boys write about the experience later that day. It was an exciting, but sad thing to see.

The following day I was taking a walk. As I passed the library, I came across a dead bird. (Another graphic photo)

I don’t believe in coincidences, and wondered what was going on and why I was plagued by dead birds. So I asked the Internet god; Google.

Spiritual meanings often have different interpretations and I’m going to have to side with the ‘Others’ on this one.

I have been increasingly edgy as school is scheduled to begin soon. This week is important, as it’s my first official week back. It has been the old brain vs. the heart battle, and my heart continues to mourn how things used to be while my brain knows things needed to change.

One thing I’m sure about is that I’m ready to kiss this year goodbye and welcome the new beginnings.

So thanks, Others. I’m taking that outlook & running with it ✌🏼🌈🦄

Day #520- The F*** It’s

I have a MAJOR case of the “F*** It” today.

I’ve felt like a pressure cooker from the moment I picked up my phone today (mental note to not do that again).

My mood was exasperated by darkness and pouring rain, a leaky basement that we keep throwing money at with no success, and a stupid staff meeting where the unanswered questions are multiplying. I thought back to my first day working in my district. I was petrified, but soon learned that Mary Ann (my mentor) was awesome and had all the answers. If she didn’t have the answer, she would dig until she found it. Now, this year, she is calling me and I tell her what I think, but don’t know for sure because nobody has the answers. And I am increasingly on edge. I don’t know how I will keep it together for the next few weeks.

Everything has me on edge.

My brother and sister-in-law took my youngest on an awesome trip this week. They dropped him off last night and hung around for a little bit. They (the adults) were loud and excited, telling about all the fun times they had. And during all of their excitement, I felt like I was about to explode. Every word sounded like fingernails against a chalkboard, and I just wanted them to leave. And I felt so bad, because they were so awesome to do that, and they are so good to my little boy, so why the hell do I have to be such an asshole?

All week my mind has been unfocused. I know I should meditate, but I don’t want to because the only thing that feels good is having my brain 120% occupied. I feel like I have severe ADHD, just like during the grief after losing my mom. I know the things I need to do to ground myself, but I simply don’t want to be grounded at the moment.

So I’m jumping from thing to thing, leaving everything incomplete and a mess.

And I’m writing here, to try to evict it from my head.

I think of having a drink, and think why not?

Even though I know the answer, and can logically tell Betsy “hell no” today, the thought terrifies me. There’s a switch in my brain, and I know that when it flips, all of that logic is lost.

When, or if?

I put it out of my mind. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I am not drinking today, or at this moment. The saying, one day at a time, one moment at a time, has been around forever for a good reason.

Perhaps it would do myself a world of good to apply this to all other stresses in life and focus on the moment.

At the moment the rain stopped and the sun is shining. It’s Friday and my family is home, happy and healthy. I might not know how work will be, but I do know that I work with some of the most supportive, and best people around and will be far from alone.

I try to focus on the fact that we are sort of privileged to be pioneers of this new normal. Maybe it’s ok we don’t have the answers given to us, it forces us to find them (or make them up)on our own.

Maybe all of these changes will have a greater good.

 

 

 

Life is a Sham (I guess)

Day #517

Despite being in the midst of a 2020 shit show, life is so good.

This was the most unique and wonderful summer ever. I say wonderful because one of these times when I say it, I’m actually going to believe it.

I am getting good at managing my worries, and I’ve had A LOT.

My Pets: OMG, 2020 has been the year of sitting in the veterinarian parking lot while my ill pets get seen (still can’t go inside with them).

Milo has had two puncture wounds, a tooth problem, a dental and two teeth removed. It took him about a month to recover after his dental and I babied him every step of the way. I never wanted to go up north, I was so worried about him for a couple of weeks there. He is 10 and suddenly looked like a 20 year old cat with a super thin face. Now he is back to normal, and I’m so relieved. One day he was sitting next to me on the bench outside and I thought about him being gone and I started to cry. I’m not ready for that, but I know I never will be.

Jules has had an ear infection for months. I wonder if Vetselect has an award for the pet with the most positive ear cytologies at the end of the year? There’s a new medication for yeast and after a couple courses of Oti Max, we tried that. Only, he saw a new vet, and she medicated the wrong ear. The ear meds are put in two weeks apart, so now it’s been a month and he has had both ears treated. He goes in today for a cytology to check. PRAYING it’s negative or they’ll have to send it to a dermatologist for testing. Also, he still has a high liver test. We did every test known to man last summer to find out why (xrays, ultrasound, bloodwork, thyroid check, etc). The new vet (who I’ve never met in person, yet, and I really don’t have a great opinion of her because he’s always had a bad left ear, yet she medicated the right…) told me that if it’s still high in a month we should do another ultrasound to be sure. He has allergies bad too and is on a really expensive pill. I want to allergy test him (which will total $1000 including allergy injections for several weeks) but waiting to get everything else under control first– which doesn’t seem to ever be happening.

UPDATE: Vet visit was okay. New doctor was way behind so he got to see my old friend, Dr. Jones, who is the best vet there. Left ear was so inflamed she couldn’t get her ear scope in 😞. She put him on Prednisone & allergy tested him. (his ear infections are largely due to his allergies). I want to brag on him for a minute. Throughout this all he remains so loyal to me. He was so anxious at the vet because we had to wait by the car forever but when we got home his eyes were on me 💯 while I was working even though I knew he had to have been in a good amount of pain. I look back at this picture from Sunday:

He has held his left ear down like that all summer, poor thing– I sure hope allergy treatments help. I don’t want my loyal buddy to suffer anymore. Thoughts & prayers are appreciated ☺️

My Job: I’ve written enough about this lately. I have no idea what is about to happen over the next several weeks/months, which is hard for my usual ancy self. I’ve given it all up. I know that any day now I could be laid off or moved to another school or the self-contained EI room. While it’s easy to say I’ve given it up, it still gets to me sometimes. Getting used to it though.

My House: Our house is filled with negative energy and is constantly breaking. We’ve had SO many things go wrong just since spring and even the stuff we fix still has issues. We spent a ton of money waterproofing the basement, but it still leaks. The system they put in works fine, but the cinder blocks are still filling up with water when it pours really hard. That is the theme and I’m starting to wonder if we have negative energy. I did sage the house about a month ago and maybe should again. Does anyone know how to get demons or negative spirits out of the house?

My Kids/School: Most everyone in our area is doing virtual only school. My kids’ district has a hybrid option where they can go in person 2 days per week. All of them chose the hybrid vs. all online and now I’m seeing SUPER crowded hallways at other schools posted on social media and now I’m second guessing letting them go back at all. I think it’s too late to switch them all, so that worries me too.

The election and political shit is always a worry, but I’m not getting into that.

WHEW.. I intended on writing a positive post, I’m not sure why I just wrote all that stuff but maybe now it’ll be more out of my head.

But other than all that, life is good. Family is hard, like really really difficult, but I’m managing and continue to learn about setting boundaries and keeping myself sane when I have to spend time with them- so that is good.

I’m not ready for summer to end, but I AM ready for 2021 to begin! Sorry, not sorry 2020!!

I did get some exciting news yesterday. Our Milky Chance concert got rescheduled for the 3rd time to May 3rd 2021. We were originally supposed to go down to Kentucky in May 2020, but then it got rescheduled to October 29th. I was worried they would just cancel so I’m SOOOOO excited for May. On Sunday, they played outdoors in Germany and I had a livestream tix. They were SOOOOO good! (I’ve seen them in person twice, they are just amazing live, I wasn’t sure that would transfer digitally). Now I’m so pumped for the concert and I’m bringing my niece, son and nephew (who will be 17, 18 and 17) and it’s a local show at a super small venue. My niece loves them and has never seen them. We are in general admission and we are making our way up to the stage- she is going to think she died and went to heaven!

Anyways, that’s all. It’s Tuesday and I haven’t worked on the novels yet this week. I’m going to try to get a bit done before the vet appointment. It’s hard to concentrate now and I’m losing the excitement of the story. I have to make sure to keep plugging away when school starts.

 

 

The Vanishing Middle Class

There’s a silent war going on, and it appears to be going unnoticed. There’s a large divide, the haves and the have nots, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my adult life.

I don’t know, maybe I’m noticing because I’m directly in the middle, and if shit really hits the fan, I could end up in either groups, which is an uneasy feeling.  As an American, I’ve always thought that if you work hard you can live the dream, and I feel like we have.

My hubby and I started out without much.  It took me six years after we got married to graduate college and to start working full time.  Fast forward to now, and we have both done well in our jobs and have everything we need and most things we want.  The thought of losing everything when we’ve worked so hard for it is foreign and scary.

Disclaimer: The following are personal opinions and observations from my school and state (Michigan), the processes and information may be different elsewhere.

The first big battle was in March when schools shut down and everyone had to stay home.

Even though the district I work for is one of the wealthier ones in our state, the inequality within some of our families was apparent.

In the United States, the public schools must guarantee that everyone has equal opportunity for education.  Well, if suddenly everyone is expected to learn from home in quarantine and some kids don’t have internet or computers, that isn’t equal.  And it was up to the public school to fix it.  So what did the public school do? They put all learning on hold until every family had a Chromebook and internet, and food of course, because it is also up to the public school to feed the hungry.  All of that had to happen to make it equal, and that took time, and you better believe that schools got so much shit for that. Why? Because the parents who had internet, whose child had a computer, whose child had a hundred activities suddenly cancelled had to wait for the proper instruction to begin, and many parents were not happy.

So, a few weeks after the shutdown, it was announced that schools will be shut down until summer vacation.  We learned that we will not see these kids in person again until the following school year.

It’s ok, everyone had what they needed, right? In theory, yes.

This sums up the last two months of the school year: Generally, the academically high kids did everything that was expected of them. The average kids were all over. Some started off doing everything, but dropped off the last month, while some hand picked which assignments they wanted to do, and some did excellent, proving that the environment was favorable for learning for some kids. The low kids, or economically disadvantaged kids, were less engaged and typically finished less work than their classmates.

Some of my students did very little to nothing that last few months of school. I work with students who have learning disabilities, and I worry that this will put them farther behind, as normally there is a sense of urgency at school to catch them up.

I don’t blame the parents.  One of mine had to quarantine with three small children in an apartment, I simply can’t imagine since it went on for months. And others are essential workers and can’t be there all the time, or most the time, to help with school work, so the child is left supervised with an older sibling, grandparent or on their own. These families are in a tough spot and it’s heartbreaking.  My colleagues and I would complain that we felt like we were stalking the families. We were just worried and wanted to see how we could help, but many calls and emails went unreturned.

Now it’s the fall and the start of a new school year. I envisioned the first day of school very festive with everyone just happy to be there.  But the disease is still here, and we will not be going back to school.

Parents are divided, like the rest of the country.  Some are adamant about keeping their kid home. Others are positive that this virus is a hoax and they aren’t going to pay their taxes because their kid can’t go to school, etc etc etc. And other kids truly need school. It’s their safe place, the only safe place for some.

Our president wants the schools all in session this fall. He thinks that mental health problems, neglect, abuse and hunger are far worse threats than this virus. Plus, public schools provide eligible kids with important therapies, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. He is absolutely right, and I think schools should be able to open with safety measures.

There’s only one problem: Public schools don’t have the money to open safely, period. Even in my district, with community and financial resources, there are way too many variables and unmet standards to be able to open safely at this point in time.  The variables include important resources, mostly people, that we don’t have (adequate janitorial staff, substitute teachers, extra teachers for smaller class sizes for social distancing, etc).  But we have to open, they say.  Why?

Because of the hungry?

Because of the missed therapies for children with disabilities?

Because of the parents that need to get back to work, they need child-care.

When did this all become the public school’s’ responsibility?

 

So while the political shitstorm is brewing, and the virus is still spreading and while the teachers are preparing to teach virtually,  there is a divide happening.  I see it everywhere.

Parents on one end are organizing small learning groups and looking for teachers to hire, or sending their kids to private school where the class sizes are small and they can attend in-person classes safely, or hiring tutors, etc. Lucky for me, my hubby is working from home now, and my kids are older so my family falls in this group.  If I had kids who needed child-care, it would be much more difficult. The kids in this group will all be fine- many may even excel with the online or small group learning.

But then there’s the other side.  Low internet bandwidth, small space, distractions, little or no adult supervision, on top of potential hunger, abuse and neglect are just some of the obstacles facing some of our families.

And some schools are planning to open in a few weeks, despite unsafe conditions. I’ve read from teachers unacceptable protocols in lower socioeconomic districts, such as cardboard dividers (instead of plexiglass), 3 feet space between humans instead of 6 feet, lack of cleaning supplies, etc.  I wonder how effective the learning will be in this environment. Most places are making the kids stay in the same room all day long with little room for movement. My heart breaks for these teachers and families, as their fate is determined by zip code?

I don’t have an answer, only 99 problems with zero answers.

But it’s the divide of the classes that is bothering me most, along with the anger that is directed at public education.

 

The Death of Should

I will not feel guilty for not taking political action.

I will not feel guilty for the choices we’ve made for our kids’ education this year.

I will not feel guilty for eating 4 mini ice cream cones.

I will not feel guilty for saying no.

I will not feel guilty for allowing my child to play video games all day.

I will not feel guilty for not making my teenager drive.

I will not feel guilty for keeping the news off.

I will not feel guilty for avoiding toxic family members.

I will not feel guilty for not drinking.

I will not feel guilty for ‘me’ time.

I will not feel guilty for writing all day long.

I will not feel guilty for not cleaning.

I will not feel guilty for not being more like someone else.

I will not feel guilty for putting myself first.

I will not feel guilty for how I feel.

Now begins the funeral of SHOULD.

All of these are things that I’ve said, preluded by I should/shouldn’t have. This is faulty thinking that does nothing but cause negativity/unhappy feelings (guilt!).

Rest In Peace should.

Day 490 and ODAAT

As I predicted, my inner alcoholic voice, Betsy (DeVos), has been doing pushups while I’ve been working my soul off and has returned to torture my thoughts.  She’s not too bad yet, but this is how it starts.  She sees a vulnerability and jumps on it.

My best friend is getting married in September and I am beyond excited.  As I’m talking to her about planning, she could care less about the planning.  She wants nothing more than a ginormous party with all her people.

My first thought?

Good thing they’re not big drinkers.

Followed by…

Maybe I could handle one night of drinking. 

Then, the consideration.

Maybe I can. Do I want to? Why do I want to give anything more than I already have to alcohol, and to that evil Betsy?

I’ve seen alcohol do really shitty things to people over the past few years.  It’s a tricky substance. It makes you think you need it, but the reality is that’s not your voice, it’s your addiction speaking, and it sounds just like you.

I wish everyone would see alcohol for what it really is, but then again, seeing these situations from the other side helps keep me away from that nasty shit.

This summer, hubby and I have gotten into the show 90 Day Fiance.

The episode we watched last night really struck a chord with me.  The man who is 48 brought a 24 year old woman from Thailand to be his wife. Both in Thailand and America, the bride-to-be was in tears over his drinking.  Last night, his friend asked him if he would stop, and his answer was no, because he didn’t want to.  There’s more to the episode and situation, but I could without a doubt see myself in him.  How sad that he chose a toxic substance over a beautiful young lady who left everything she knows to be with this man, and he can’t put down the drink for a night.  That could have been me, a hundred times or more.  Granted, my hubby never gave me an ultimatum or asked me to stop, but I can guess what my response would have been in active addiction, probably similar to the man on this show.

Seeing things like this make me never want to touch it, ever again. I’ve already given too much of my life to alcohol, I won’t submit myself to shackles again, that would be insanity.

But.. I also won’t think about drinking tomorrow, or in September.  For now, I will take it One Day At A Time. Today I am not drinking and that’s my focus.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace & Suffering and the 2020 Pandemic

This summer has mimicked Buddhism’s idea of peace & suffering, at least in my life it has.

A few months after my mom died, I had a deep conversation with our school secretary. She talked about suffering and how we need it to have happiness.

I nodded my head but had no idea what she really meant until I started to study Buddhism. I’ve often thought back to that conversation when I think of suffering.

This summer has been incredibly bipolar and is either laced with suffering, or feeling on-top-of-the-world happy.

One listen to the news usually leaves me feeling scared and desperate, so I keep it off.

As long as it stays off, and no one is texting me horrifying news stories, then I can remain safe & happy. But it is impossible to keep running from the reality of the state of the world, and especially my country 🇺🇸

I finished the first draft of my novel, which is something I never truly believed I can do. I am overwhelmed with excitement and joy, but it sometimes feels irresponsible and negligent, and I’m not sure why.

My best friend is getting married on September 12th. They met in 2000, the around the time my hubby & I met (same month even, I think) and we all have been friends since. I recently got ordained and I am going to marry them. I am so honored and excited for this. But again, it feels kind of irresponsible and pretentious to be so excited right now.

It has been a very hot July. One day, in particular sticks in my mind. It was not a happy day.

I went outside to check something with the pool. It was stifling outside and the sun was intense. Normally, this would be my favorite kind of summer day, but not this day.

As I went outside, the heat felt miserable and so did I. There was nothing but silence in the air. No kids playing, no laughing, no screaming, nothing. I looked at my house and thought of all of the kids (I had 4 at the time, one extra cousin) who were sitting in a dark room inside doing nothing but screen time.

The sadness that day was overwhelming and the only thing I wanted to do was to crawl in my bed and disappear. A better mom would have made the children come out and turn off their screens.

I will not be getting any mother of the year awards for 2020, but it’s okay.

Another day in July was similar but quite different. It was hot and sunny and I was fully enjoying it without a care in the world. I had tears in my eyes because I was so happy (and I made the kids come out).

How can two identical days be so different?

One thing is for sure, while the bad days can be awful, they do make the good days better.

How are you doing with the pandemic this summer?

The Cost of Returning to School

If you are reading this, I’m going to apologize upfront.  My recent posts don’t have a lot to do with sobriety, as it has taken a back seat in the midst of this pandemic.

Don’t worry, I’ve learned that even in the back seat, my addiction is doing push-ups. This means that while I’m not worried about drinking at the moment, that feeling can hit me at any moment and change my callus attitude towards alcohol.

But this post isn’t about drinking, it’s about my heart.

Teaching has broken my heart twice in thirteen years.

Back in January 2010, our governor took away school funding and consequently I was laid-off completely out of the blue one Friday morning.  The principal told me to come back on Saturday and get my stuff.  I wasn’t even able to say bye to my students, and I cried all the way home.

It made me stronger.

My heart is broken again by this profession. It’s not the kids, the administration, the testing or curriculum, although these are what you might typically think when you think about complaining about education.

I can’t take the politics of it, I’m beyond tired of everyone saying that schools need to open.  Some people are saying that they should get a tax refund because their child participated in school from home for awhile.

This is where I’m at with the whole We need to open schools come hell or high water stance.

I agree, many kids need to come to school.  But at what cost?

We’ve all seen changes everywhere and these all have come with a cost. My doctor’s office, which normally triple books is only working at a fraction of the normal capacity, taking the time to carefully disinfect and take the precautions necessary.  I could go on and on giving you examples of changes because of COVID precautions.

I’m seeing some changes at school this summer that is promising.  My friend teaches summer school and feels safe and protected, although she sees the students individually and thoroughly disinfects after each child.  She currently has the resources she needs to be safe.

What is safe?

Plexiglass is safe, it can be disinfected and can stop germs from spreading across the room. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive, so it’s doable, right?  Sure, unless you are the unlucky person who teaches in this local district:

Cardboard?  Can that even be disinfected? Really?

In this district parents can opt out of daily temperature checks for their child. Would you want your child to attend this school?

Will the poorer districts see more fatalities because of poor cleaning procedures and lack of safety equipment?

This feels eerily like a colossal science experiment, where no one really knows what is going to happen.  Science has shown that kids aren’t commonly affected by the Coronavirus, so they should be fine.

I think students will be okay, for the most part, if we practice the same social distancing routines that we’ve been doing since March. The only thing is that, some schools don’t have this capability.  You can’t turn a dollar into a million, you just can’t.

I’m kind of a jerk because I have been feeling relieved that so many districts in the south go back a month before us.  I thought they would be the guinea pigs.  But, the friends I know in the south have had their start date pushed back a month.

So we’re all going to be the guinea pigs.

I’m not really afraid of getting Coronavirus and dying, except for feeling bad for my family. But the thought of losing just one student, or or just one colleague to something that we could have prevented makes me cry.

If you had asked me about my school’s resources before the Coronavirus, I would have complained. I would have told you that our School Social Worker is only at our school for 1.5 days, and the half day is usually spent in meetings. She has one day to fit in all of the students on her caseload. Consequently, if a student who is not on her caseload needs to see a social worker, he or she is going to have to wait. I would have told you that our academic support caseloads are too high and we don’t have enough staff.

I can’t imagine having even less resources than before, but with all of the extra precautions and personal protection equipment school will now require, I can’t see most public schools meeting their most basic needs, let alone keeping Corona under control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Boy Hands

 

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In seventeen years
You’ve become quite a man
Gradual changes
All but your little boy hands

First the Deep voice
Then the Facial hair
Word play and sarcasm
Nevermind, I won’t go there

You made me a mom
You made me crazy
Watching you grow up
Has made life a little hazy

Little do you know
I’ve been watching you
Cherishing the things
That have yet to grow

My favorite thing
That’s not yet a man
One thing that stayed the same
Is your little boy hands