Corona Virus Quarantine Day #217: Perspective: October 25, 2020:

You guys the last 6 months have not been a cake walk for anyone. Covid is hard. To those that have had it, lost someone to it, or lived in fear of getting it, I sympathize with you…deeply.

If I were to go back to all my posts in the last 217 days there has been way more joy than there has been struggle. However, that is due in large part to how we choose to live our lives, celebrating awesome. I am blessed to be married to someone who shares my passions in life (our kids, sports, education) and who mirrors my approach in how to raise grateful, kind, hard working humans.

But the last 6 months have been anything but easy. When this thing first started I was extremely concerned about this virus (that’s not to suggest I’m still not worried because I am). I was terrified one of us would get it and bring it home to my mom (who lives with us). I can’t even tell you how many nights I laid in bed at prayed that GOD would keep her safe from this virus. On the triplets birthday in May I had to drop her off at the hospital and leave her there. It was a horrible day.

Throughout the entire lockdown I was the only person who left the house to get food. I wiped down every item of food before it came in our house. We were going to keep her safe no matter what it took.

To live with someone who is in a high risk category because of her age as well as her health conditions is stressful.

Then I had to homeschool our 5 kids on top of continuing to teach my own students in a completely new way. To say that was stressful would be an understatement. I am a good teacher. Teaching your own kids is hard.

At that same time Bryan’s company announced that they were going to cut a significant number of their employees. I think we can all agree that the work I do, while important, isn’t going to provide too well for our 5 kids.

We’ve lived with the stress of whether or not Bryan would have a job for the last 6 months and what we would do if he was one of the people who got cut. We are extremely grateful to have learned this past week that Bryan still has a job at a company he loves, doing work he is passionate about. GOD is good.

Having 5 kids that can’t see their friends and are extremely active put on lock down was a challenge as well. We are so blessed to have space to play and so many siblings to play with so it made it easier. And again, we choose to look at the bright side and the positives in this, rather than the negative.

Then there was the start of the school year and sports. Hybrid learning is a step up from fully on line but it is not without challenges. We’ve been in full time school for 7 weeks now. I’m grateful. I know so many kids haven’t even been in school at all and I can’t even imagine that for myself or my kids. Those students, administrators and parents have my heart. But, teaching during a pandemic is challenging…to say the least.

Finally, our season has been the most difficult one I can ever remember. Normally my schedule is set the October or November before the next season. This year, with Covid, our schedule was scrapped. The season literally changed daily. I had to schedule games for 4 teams week by week. I sent out email after email and often got no response. Frustrating, is a word I’d use to describe that process.

I know this has been so hard for so many people in many different ways.

When the post season information came out and I learned about the inequity across the board I wasn’t looking for a fight. 2020 has been stressful enough. Those who know me best know I’m more of a lover than a fighter, but I am also a stand up for what I believe in kind of gal too.

No, I’m not looking for a fight or to divide people, I am looking for equality.

I was taught that is always good to do what is right, but doing the right thing is never easy. I don’t need easy. I just need right.

I know that a lot of people are talking about what I wrote and about the petition I put out there and I’m grateful. That was, after all, the point. Talk leads to action.

I also know some people might think this year wasn’t the year to point out these inequities and I should instead, just be grateful to be playing.

Let me be clear, I am incredibly grateful to be in school and to be playing sports. I have never waivered from that and said that in almost every post I’ve written since school and sports started.

What I am not happy about is that it is 2020 and we still live in a world where what I have been writing about is still a conversation. To me, that is simply unacceptable and if you can’t agree with that, then we simply can’t be friends and that is ok.

I know our world has a lot of problems, believe me, they haunt me at night when I lay in bed thinking about how to raise our 5 kids. If I could solve all the world’s problems, believe me, I’d do my best.

I’m not trying to create another problem. I am looking to create solutions to a problem that has existed for a long time and just gets overlooked.

I am not criticizing specific people, just specific institutions that have been in place for a long time. Gender inequity is not new my friends, it certainly isn’t new to sports, anyone who has played them can attest to it.

I sympathize (and have said this repeatedly) with the people in admin that have to make decisions that are hard. As I said above we are treading a new kind of water with a new kind of wave. However, to me, to suggest that we can’t point out inequity when it exists because of that fact is not something I can live with. But, regardless of that, I know one thing, we can do better.

Covid may not be the right time, but then I’d have to ask….when is the right time? Truth be told there is never a good time to have uncomfortable, necessary conversations; that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them. Covid may have actually opened the door to a very necessary and important conversation and I guess I’m grateful for that.

We try to look on the bright side of things at the Dorsey household and “celebr8awesome”. It isn’t always easy, but it is right.

So in this situation, I choose to see the good. Covid is hard. Schooling, parenting, being an administrator that has to make hard decisions, playing sports, socializing…all of it has been made more challenging by this virus.

However, it also pointed out that there are some problems in high school sports that need solutions.

I don’t want to ruffle feathers or cause problems, I want to solve them.

We just want to be part of the solution. It’s hard to put yourself out there with a strong opinion on anything, I chose to do that for something I believe very strongly in, for something that has shaped my entire life. I won’t apologize for that, I will instead ask for your understanding and support, even if you don’t agree with me.

Finally, a huge thank you to all the people who have offered their support. That has been overwhelming. I’ve heard from people I haven’t seen in 20 years, since I was an athlete at KU myself. I have heard from business owners, local politicians and parents and administrators from different schools. But…the best correspondence I have received, is from kids themselves. I’ve had young women email me from my own school and others saying “thank you” for doing what you are doing…and that is how I know what we are doing is right. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the parents that showed their kids what I wrote and raised them to show their gratitude.

I hope you join us in doing the right, but hard, thing! I believe we are going to make some great things happen.

These two, their friends and all the little girls that go watch a high school volleyball game and want to be just like those girls are a large part of why I am doing what I am doing.
The girls last night at sub-state wrote who they were playing for and of course, Fiona had to join in. She picked her favorite teacher of all time. Another reason I know the value of what we are trying to accomplish. During the lock down Fiona had a hard time. She is a very social being and missed her friends. She was sad and as a parent it was hard to see this vibrant, full of life kids personality change. When I told Mrs. Tripp, she insisted they face time. That face time call literally lit up our child’s world. It also led to many other conversations. They became pen pals. A teacher can quite literally change a child’s life and I know Mrs. Tripp changed my kids. She wrote Mrs. Tripp’s name on her wrist because even at 8 years old, she knows the impact this adult had in her life. I’m grateful.

In other news, we like to play “jam or no jam” in the car and this weekend I was playing music for Fiona (8 years old) before her volleyball game and we did a sampling of 80’s/90’s music. One of the songs we listened to was “Can’t Touch This,” the classic by MC Hammer. She loved it. This morning she came out of her room while I was cleaning up breakfast and yelled downstairs, “Mom, who sings “Can’t Touch This?” So tonight, I can at least celebrate that success in my life.



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