Corona Virus Quarantine Day #34: Who are you in the boat? April 21, 2020
My guest writer today is the sweet, fun loving and energetic Fiona Bell Dorsey.
In school today I learned about the solar system. My favorite planet I learned about was Jupiter. It’s the biggest planet in our solar system. I wrote letters to people too and I learned about needs and wants. So for example, I WANT a bunk bed, but I NEED water and food.
After school we played outside with the dog, on the play set and rode our bikes. The weather today was really nice, so we could be outside all day. We went on a long bike ride, I rode my roller blades, everyone else biked. It was fun, except for the large boo boo I got on my knee, because I fell on my roller blades. I actually tripped on a branch. That was not fun. But we saw our cousins on the trail and then they came to our house to play outside and have dinner.
We played kickball, a pirate game and cops and robbers. I like kickball the most. We ate a delicious dinner, my favorite part was the watermelon and the smoothie. We got to eat outside, that’s my favorite. For dessert I had a monster cookie and went back outside to play again.
This was a fantastic day. I don’t like the corona virus and I want it to end because it hurts people and I want everyone healthy. I would also like to go places and see people. I like being able to stay home with my family but I do miss playing sports with my friends on a team. Today I am thankful for my house, our dogs, my cousins and my mom, dad and gaga.
I’m deep today friends…so fair warning.
As a teacher I talk to a lot of other teachers. People I work with, people I coach against as well as friends and family who teach in other states all over the country. In each of those conversations the theme is the same…NONE of us like online learning and all of us are struggling. The struggle is…as they say…real. As a being teachers are wired to be with other people, to engage other people and to care for other people. That’s not to say others don’t do that in their professions, but as a teacher, I often (if not always) bring my students work and their problems home with me. We worry about our kids when we are with them and when we are not. Those facts have made “distance learning” has been difficult for so many reasons. I can see even on a computer screen which one of my kids are struggling more than others and the second we sign off of class…I worry about them the rest of the day.
As a high school teacher I would describe teaching on a computer screen like being in a room full of people who are all there to hear you speak and feeling like even though there are people there…no one is paying attention to you and you are talking to yourself. Looking at their faces on a computer screen is simply not the same. So if you know a teacher…go easy on them. Plan to give them a hug when it’s socially acceptable to do so…or take 5 minutes and tell them they are doing a good job. It will reinvigorate them…I promise.
Today in our staff meeting we looked at an old Rembrandt painting called “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”. We looked at the photo and discussed how we are all in the same storm and that amidst that storm JESUS is with us. Whether we are a teacher, a fire fighter, a mortgage broker, a doctor or a market research analyst…we are all weathering the same storm. We may not all have the same experience in the storm or role but regardless of that we are in it together and so is GOD.
If I’m being honest, when we were discussing it in a large group of nearly 100 people I didn’t really get the true impact or meaning of the painting we were looking at. When we broke from our large meetings and then met with our small groups, it really hit me. This image represents the many places people are in in this stage of the quarantine and the corona virus. You have the people who are barely hanging on and throwing up off the side of the boat. You have those that are fighting with all they have so that the boat doesn’t capsize, you have the people trying to hold it all together for everyone else, you have the people silently praying through this terrible storm…you have those that have a blank stare on their face and are unsure of what to do in the midst of this crisis. This painting reflects how so many people are feeling.
As we discussed it in our small groups and had to share who we thought we were in the image it was so interesting to hear what everyone had to say and how everyone of us was in a different part of the boat or even on any given day we saw ourselves as multiple people in the boat.
For me, if you look at the picture, I see myself as the person on the back of the boat trying to do what he can to make sure it doesn’t capsize…kind of calmly holding it all together.
Can I say though, in fairness, I don’t always feel calm…at all. There are days I want to hide in my closet and eat York peppermint patties…but I know they will all find me in a matter of minutes so let’s be real…it’s not a realistic option. True to this feeling, one-day last week I told the kids “Ok for 5 whole minutes no one can use the word Mommy.” I had seriously heard it about 2,000 times already. I should mention it was 2pm. Sweet Ellen looked at me with a dead serious expression and asked “well then should we call you Nancy?”. Yep…feel free to laugh, I know I did. She missed the point on that one.
There are days I don’t want to get on my class zoom calls and pretend I’m all rainbows and sunshine about teaching online but I know that I have to be positive to help my students get through this because they’ve lost a lot too and they are so much younger and don’t have the coping skills we adults do.
There are days where homeschooling my own children feels like a prison sentence…but I stand on the edge of that boat with a smile on my face and act like it’s the greatest thing I could ever be doing.
That’s how I see my role in this. I have to make this ok for everyone in my house. My kids, my husband, my mom. Everyone. And sometimes…it’s exhausting.
Not trying to complain, just trying to be real. I didn’t get this image at first, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized it’s so completely relevant to what we are all going through. I too see myself in several of the seats in this boat on any given day. Mostly, even though I do feel like I fight like hell everyday to make the best of each day for everyone…I am grateful. Grateful for our jobs, our home, our health and our family. We have more family time now then we’ve had in years…and it’s truly magical.
So, no matter where you see yourself in the boat, and it may be in multiple seats throughout the day…we are all in this same boat together. I don’t know about you but I find that comforting. Cause if my boat was going down, there are a lot of you I’d want there with me to make sure it didn’t! I know a lot of people fighting like hell right now to make this ok for everyone in their world and I see you, I love you and I am right there with you!
Today in our small groups we also shared prayer intentions together and it struck me how everyone of us has different struggles and different worries, but they are all very real and very important. I think sometimes in life we apologize for our problems when we talk to others about them because we think they aren’t big enough to cause complaint or worry. But…a problem is just that… a problem. A worry is just that…a worry. Just because it’s not as significant as someone else’s doesn’t mean you can’t allow it to bother you. That always brings me back to grace. We have to give ourselves the grace to feel what we feel yet also give others the grace to do the same.
It was incredibly comforting today to talk to my peers and know that they are in the same boat that I am in currently trying to keep from capsizing. This is a storm we are in and it’s an uncertain one…but I have to believe that GOD will not allow our boat to go under and when this is all over we will see the amazing grace this time has given us.
Finally, in celebration of someone I would be in the boat with any day of the week and twice on Sunday…today is our cousin’s birthday. Courtney Claire Dorsey Bohle is the kind of person that is there when your boat is capsizing. She remembers all the important stuff, sends the note and a present, makes the call, sends the text. Our family has been immeasurably blessed by her in our lives. I am so grateful that marrying Bryan meant she got to be my family too. So on this day, her birthday I want to give a shout out to her and point out to all of us…that we have people in our lives (some we may not see that often) that would be fight like hell right along side with us to keep our boat from sinking and Courtney Claire Dorsey Bohle is one of mine! Happy birthday my friend, love you so much.
Courtney has been a part of every major event in our kids lives. She came when they were born and she visited multiple times a year. They love her and she will forever be cemented in their life. She now has a son of her own, sweet Cully. I hope today was a special as she is!
I pray you are all well and safe.