Corona Virus Quarantine Day #124: Have you hugged a teacher lately? Virtually of course: July 23, 2020:

Corona Virus Quarantine Day #124: Have you hugged a teacher lately? Virtually of course: July 23, 2020:

I saw today that we are only 100 days until Halloween today and I had to fact check.  Say what?  How is that possible?

Can I also tell you that this news made me feel an overwhelming desire to decorate my house with all my fall décor.  Too soon you say?  I’ll keep you posted, I’m pretty sure I can hold out until at least August.

I’m over all all of this.  I have to tell you.  I’m tired of all the negativity.  I’m so super tired of seeing people post things like “what have teachers been doing all summer?” I’m tired of everyone I know becoming an expert on science and proclaiming they know the gospel truth on whether or not schools and sports should be in session. I’m. so. super. over. it.

I am an educator, a mother, a coach and a daughter whose mother lives with her family and is high risk with many health problems.  This effects me directly in every way possible.  As a teacher, mother and coach I know that kids belong in school and I want them there.  I know that for some kids the only positive interaction those kids get in a day or a week or a month is from their teachers.  I also know I’ve been that teacher/coach for kids in my time as a teacher and that is the reason I chose this profession.  I know school is the only meal many kids can count on.  I don’t want kids to have food insecurity.  In America, that is simply not acceptable…but that’s a conversation for a different day.

As a mother I am concerned about sending my kids to school to sit on their butt in one classroom for 8 hours a day wearing a mask.  That’s not the kind of school I want them to experience.  But on the flip side…I want them in school to interact with their peers to have some “normalcy”…but really…nothing about this situation is normal.

As a coach, I want my players playing.  From the start of this thing in March my #1 concern was not actually getting them out on the court but instead the impact all of this would have on their mental health.  I know from my own experience as a athlete that sports were my sanctuary.  Hell, as an adult, they remain my sanctuary.  I’m so worried about our teenage athletes losing their seasons and what that may do to their mental health.  I also miss being in a gym.  I miss doing the thing I believe GOD created me to do…work with kids.  I feel all these losses.  Deeply.

Finally, as a daughter who deeply loves, respects and cherishes her mother I worry about her on many levels.  This crap is crazy scary for someone like my mom facing her health conditions. Not to mention she lives with us and our 5 kids who are living, breathing, walking germ spreaders.  And they love her.  Hugs, kisses…all the time.  Then there is me.  I am going to go to a school with 900+ people and will bring home GOD knows what to the person I respect most in this entire world.

So I get it. Truly, I do.

We are all worried.  We all want our kids to play sports, to go to school and to have peer interaction.  I’m. Right. There. With. You.  I want all of those things too.

But please can we all agree to stop with the negativity.  Please?  The negativity is so gross and it’s not helping anyone.  I think we can all agree there is too much negativity in our world right now anyways.  So we can all stop proclaiming ourselves health experts and stop publicly criticizing local government officials.  Please stop suggesting teachers are sitting on their collective asses sitting back enjoying extra time off because I assure you that is NOT what is happening.  To be clear…the people saying these things are not the people that have to go to a school with 1,400 people in it everyday.

Please stop posting angry, inflammatory, untrue things about educators.  Just please stop…I’m asking nicely. Instead maybe try reaching out to your principal, admin office or a teacher you may know and ask them how they are doing…because I assure you, they are not ok.  Ask how you can help.  Tell them you appreciate them.  Truthfully, there is little anyone can do but it’s nice to know someone cares.

HUGE disclaimer…I know the people actually doing and saying these things aren’t the people that read my blog, in most cases they aren’t people I even know.  So I’m not trying to lecture anyone here who comes for enjoyment.  But…this blog began as a stress relieving exercise for me, a place to look back when I wonder how I felt in the midst of all of this 20 years from now and of course, most importantly, a place to celebrate awesome.  And if I’m being honest with myself, I can’t with social media right now.  I need to stay off of it.  The negativity is breaking my spirit and cutting down my hope and I need my hope.

I don’t know a single teacher or administrator that doesn’t want to see kids in class or on the court of fields.  Not one.

I have to believe that everyone is doing the best they can with a “can” that quite frankly keeps getting kicked down the road.  No one wants to make the decision because it’s a difficult one.  No one wants to make the call because there are actual lives at stake.  No one wants to make the wrong call.

For reference, I read two articles recently…both written by doctors in the trenches.  One article listed all the evidence as to why we should be back in school.  After reading it anyone would say “yes, yes, we must be in school.”  The other article said the exact opposite.  The other doctor painted the picture, using their evidence, as to why we should NOT be in school. Again, upon reading it most people would say “oh shoot, maybe schools not such a good idea”.

School administrators don’t want to make the wrong choice and I don’t blame them.  I feel sorry for them.  Their job is hard and stressful and they need our encouragement and grace and prayers.

I feel so deeply for our local government and administrators that have to make this impossible decision that no matter what they decide is going to piss people off.  Leadership positions are hard.  Really hard.  I pray for these people everyday, join me.

So, just a humble request from someone who is stressed out, worried, anxious, attempting to problem solve everyday on how to get kids back in class and on the courts/fields, and quite frankly…a little annoyed…STOP expressing your opinions in anger and please stop making comments about the people who are trying to use all the information at hand to make the best decisions possible for all of the people to consider here.  These are the same people who are going to gleefully enter a building with 1,000 + students in the near future.  They have an impossible decision to make because as I said before…they won’t make everyone happy.

So in an effort to follow the direction of my new book and my purpose in writing to celebrate all things awesome I am going to use the remainder of my time focusing on what I can control.  My gratitude.

The author suggests that everyday you spend time in meditation about all the things you are grateful for in your life.  This isn’t exactly a novel idea right?  I was doing this anyways, every night, in prayer.  However, he suggests you start with all the things you wouldn’t normally think about.  For example, I am grateful for my ability to walk, water to drink, a comfortable bed to sleep in.  I don’t wake up most mornings really thinking specifically about the awesomeness of that, but I’ve been doing this for about a week now and it really helps to center me and keep me focused on what I can control.  So while I won’t bore you with everything on my list.  I will write what struck me today.

I am grateful I have a husband who loves my mom and cares for her like she’s his own.  It means a lot to me but I also know it means a lot to her.

I am grateful for my mom who showed me how to be tough, confident, and to believe I could accomplish anything in my life if I really wanted it bad enough.

I am also grateful that I get to show my mom the same care that she has always showed me, even if it’s hard for her to accept at times.

I am grateful for hugs.  In a world where it’s now not ok to hug (and that hurts me, like physically), I’m grateful I live with 5 small humans and 2 big ones that hug me everyday.  I need their hugs.

I am grateful for Kayla Staley (an SJA alum and all around stud) and our zoom workouts.  I look forward to seeing the HS girls and Kayla each day on our workouts and know that we are doing good things for these kids and it fills me up.

I’m grateful that when my kids don’t feel well they come to me and ask for help (and snuggles).  I hope they always know they can come to be about anything anytime always.

I am grateful for good books.  They help you escape, dream, build and get better.

I am grateful for the sun.  Sunlight makes everyone feel better.  Even when it’s 96 degrees outside.

I am grateful for friends who check in on you.  Especially the ones you hardly ever see…those ones are the truest.

I am grateful for farmers.  My brother and father in law are farmers and I know this time of the year is hard for them.  They work a lot and pray (for rain) a lot.  Also, I feel like they don’t get the credit they deserve for doing the back breaking work they do.

I am grateful for teachers and not just because I am one.  But because I know they are all prayerfully hoping for the best outcome for all kids right now amidst a lot of uncertainty and constantly changing plans. The changing plans part…is a serious struggle.  Yet they lesson plan, try to think of creative ways to engage the kids and look forward to going back to school…whatever that may look like.

I am grateful for sports bras.  Sorry this one is weird, but my goodness…is there anything more comfortable or practical?  Regular bras should be burned.

I am grateful for small human laughs.  The laughter of our children can brighten anyone’s dark day.

I am grateful for handwritten notes.  I save them all.  Write all the notes.  Always.

I am grateful for music.  It feeds my soul…currently “Hamilton” is on repeat.  It makes me want to sing all day.

I am grateful for the moments I hear our children singing throughout the day.  That means I’m rubbing off on them in some way and that they will also have music in their lives to brighten their days.

I am grateful for movie nights.  Nothing better than watching a good movie with my favorite people.

I am grateful for my mom’s doctors.  They have a big puzzle to put together in her diagnoses but they are so gentle and kind with her.  They have a hard job and have worked so hard to get where they are. Also, they are risking their lives each day.  Same for nurses…Love me some nurses.  There is a special place in HEAVEN for nurses.

I am grateful for church.  Even though it isn’t the same online or in a mask, it’s a constant in our lives and I look forward to the day where we can sit in the third pew on the right and sing our faces off.

I am grateful for sports.  Holy cow.  If I couldn’t get in a game of kick ball with the kids each day or see them shooting baskets or passing a volleyball, I may lose my mind.  Sports make everything better…like music.

I am grateful for nice neighbors.  We have two of the best.

Above all else I’m grateful for my family.  All of them.  They are everything.

I urge you to try this.  It’s seriously so therapeutic. I kept it short tonight (sort of) but my list can go on forever.  I was doing this each night already, but it feels very generic now that my lists have become so long.  Before this I thanked GOD every night for the obvious things like my family, our health etc.  Now I am thinking of so many other things I wouldn’t have normally spoke my gratitude for out loud.

It’s fun.  It feels good.  We could use more feel good right now.  So why not give it a try?

So I’m going to just urge everyone to try it.  I’m going to challenge myself to keep at it.  I’m going to focus on the positive rather than the negative (this is a struggle right now…it requires I stay off social media) and I’m going to continue to pray for all of those making the tough calls.



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