We’ve all been through a lot lately. Pandemic life, virtual school, Zoom calls for days, and most recently in Texas, a snow apocalypse. Now we are contending with water issues, power issues, grocery store limits, and yards full of frozen plants. What was an already full to-do list just got a whole lot longer.
You know who has really been through a lot though? Our children. The sweet little consistent life they used to have where everything was pretty predictable as it related to school, birthday parties, and after school activities has been dumped at their feet like a basket full of playroom toys. School this week? No, sorry it’s virtual due to a Covid case. Birthday party? Can we celebrate your half birthday in 6 months instead? Can I play soccer? Sure. It just takes time to get used to running in a mask. And it’s all fine. It has to be. It’s just that everything is different for them. Everything.
My M was home this week doing virtual school due to a district wide closure. We had just gotten her into such a good routine at school, and she was bumping along beautifully. I worried about the disruption of a week buried in ice and then another week with virtual school. The first day went pretty well as she functioned mostly on adrenaline. However, something about the 6 pages of math in addition to the 4 hours she had already spent in class finally tipped her over the edge. Tears and lots of erasing, frantic erasing, ensued. It had all become too much. So we talked, and I validated her and allllllll the feelings she had about school. We came up with a plan. The next morning she would wake up early and try to get most of her work done before her 8:00am class began. Ambitious right?
The next morning at 6:25am she arrived in our room dressed and ready to go. I’m talking hair combed, teeth brushed ready. to. go. She logged on and methodically navigated through her folders and completed all the assignments. Then, she ate breakfast. I wondered what I had actually accomplished by that point in the morning and realized it was no where close to what she had done. And she’s 7.
From this jumble of uncertainty that has become her life have emerged brilliant opportunities for learning and growth that might never have crossed her path were it not for the current situation. Problem solving, time management, flexibility, and patience have become daily mountains to climb, only recently they look more like steep hills because she’s learning how to traverse the challenge.
I’m learning right along with her. We all are. Sometimes I can do nothing but stand there in awe and hope I can be half of what she is. Sometimes I pull her up the hill. And sometimes I watch her soar.
Our kids are amazing. Today especially but always and forever.
Find the joy,
Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.