It turns out that I am not really that good of a Kindergarten teacher. I am learning to forgive myself for this. My wife gave me a great piece of wisdom she learned. During this period in our lives our goal is not to become good math teachers or coaches or cooks or whatever it may be that has put us so far out of our comfort zone and crammed it into one building. Our goal is to maintain our relationships. I’m learning to try and do this. Is it hard for anyone else, as it is for me?
the before time
The world changed on a dime and I didn’t see it coming. One typically loud day I was planning, scheduling and reserving my time for people, places and things. The next day I was completely focused on only my family, my friends and their health. My 6 year old daughter calls this – the before time. The time when we went to school. The time when we went to work. When we worried about traffic and deadlines and being the best. You remember the before time, right? We got mad when we had to wait 10 minutes for a table at a restaurant. We were annoyed when the guys in the middle of the row at the game kept making us stand up so they could go get beers. We had the privilege to take our children to see animals at the zoo. We were lucky enough to be able to hug our parents, our siblings our friends. We were able to mourn those we lost in person and together. You remember, don’t you? The before time? But did we know what we had? I’m not so sure I did. Certainly not always. I mourned my uncle last year with family, I don’t take that lightly. I can tell you I didn’t appreciate the freedom to be annoyed with someone who continually got up during the baseball game either. That feels like a lifetime ago and I dont see it ever being the same. I expect to one day be at a baseball game again but just….different.
the now time
What I know about the now time is that I AM a teacher, a cook, a coach, a parent, an employee, a spouse, a friend, a therapist and so many more things. If you are also all these things right now just know, as cliche as it sounds, you are not alone. I mean physically, besides your people, you ARE alone but in so many other ways you are not. It is ok to say its hard and it sucks because at times it does. For me, focusing on positives is the key. So many things I once put so high on my lists of worries, things to do and care about have faded into the background. I hope I can hold on to the gratitude I feel for things I no longer have. I know I cant be a teacher. Actual teachers are angels and miracle workers. I’ve always thought so but now I have a new found respect and love for everything they do. But I don’t have to be a teacher, I just have to help when and where I can and help get to the next school year without anyone in the house killing each other. Love can win here. Keeping our relationships is the goal and maybe, just maybe we improve a few things. Who knows what the ‘the next time’ will look like. That is not in my control. Let’s get through the now time still loving each other as much or, possibly, even more. Anything that happens beyond that is beautiful icing on a cake made of stress and anxiety. If you promise to stay strong I promise to do the same.
I want to end with a poem that has kept me going and feeling positive about what we, as humans, have been doing. I am not sure who wrote it but it has meant a lot to me.
and then the whole world
Walked inside and shut their doors
And said we will stop it all. Everything.
To protect our weaker ones,
Our sicker ones, our older ones,
And nothing, nothing in the history of humankind
Ever felt more like love than this.
Stay safe everyone. I love you.