Six months ago, if you asked me what my family’s calendar looked like you would have been hard-pressed to find any white space at all. Every hour of every day was seemingly accounted for. Between school events, sports activities, work meetings, birthday parties, graduations, rehearsals, recitals, practices, fundraisers and so many other personal and professional commitments, each member of my family knew where we had to be and when. No question. We were busy! But now, just a few short months later, our daily routines have changed. So much has been canceled and now it seems my calendar is pretty sparse. I’m guessing yours is, too. Strange isn’t it? School starts in just a couple of weeks and by all accounts, this will be a strange and different experience, too. Our district has opted for remote learning for at least the first part of the school year.
For my family, that means a lot of things. It means carving out dedicated spaces in our home to support a learning environment and creating a routine so kids can stay on track and not feel as though this is an extension of summer vacation. It means considering learning pods and other creative ways to engage our kids as well as adjusting work schedules to make sure at least one adult is able to be home. And, it means my husband and I will be taking on the roles of amateur educators in earnest support of our kids’ growth as well as their teachers’ efforts to educate. We’re all doing the best we can. But boy it sure can be stressful. That’s one of the reasons I’m so grateful for the support systems I have in place. My “village” consists of a tight network of family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and colleagues, all of whom are committed to doing one thing really, really well: supporting one another the best way we know-how.
These people are my keys to navigating this strange time. And it’s not an understatement to say that I would be lost without them.
My village is like a GPS signal for weary, lost travelers. I don’t think too often about the benefits of technology, but during a crisis like this, when everyone is staying home, technology has been an anchor. A lifeline. It’s allowed me to stay physically distant but socially close to an incredible community that listens to, encourages, vents, cries, and brainstorms with one another. In our village, we struggle with how to help our children solve math problems the way they were taught in the classroom (does anyone really understand this new math?!) and we send each other silly gifs and jokes to brighten someone’s day and share a laugh. In our village, it’s the little things that pack the biggest punch and create the strongest connections.
I could not survive without these amazing people. Their presence reminds me that we are all in this together. That no matter what challenges we face, we’ve got each other’s backs.
If I had one wish, I’d wish this kind of village for everyone.
With much gratitude,