Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Day 2

The highlights of Day 2: tears, screams, fights, headaches and non-stop talking. 

As is the norm lately, I woke up feeling anxious with unprocessed feelings. I decided a solo walk was in order, so I called in a sub (Scott) and rattled off the “lesson plan” to him. He took charge, and I took a walk. 

Oh man, was that walk needed. Many of us, myself included, just soak up the negatives in our lives until we can’t soak up any more and then it just spills out in one way or another. These days, the negatives are rolling in faster than I can empty them. The fresh air, open prairie and towering trees helped empty out some of those negatives (which is good because it made room for an afternoon bombshell). 

I got back home from my walk and found Grace in tears at the table, Scott clearly agitated. I had clearly walked in midway through a heated student-teacher dispute. 

Meanwhile, Henry’s in the living room screaming about how he can only find four hidden objects in his Hidden Pictures book. 

The sibling bickering came shortly after lunch, the non-stop talking lasted all day and my headache was fierce by 4pm. 

Then the big bombshell came. No school for the rest of the school year. 

I had suspected this might happen, but wasn’t prepared for the emotions that would well up inside me. This extreme move felt scary — it made this completely bananas situation so very real. I felt sad for the kids, for the teachers, for the entire school system. 

At first, I tried to hold back my tears so the kids wouldn’t be freaked out. I thought a crying mother would really kickstart their panic. But I also considered that seeing an adult have emotions — and process them — has value, too. 

I talked it all out with them — why I was sad, what made me feel anxious, etc. They offered some thoughts back and not only did it truly help me process what I was feeling, I think it helped them to process their own emotions. 

After we finished talking, Claire said, “Well, you always say you want more time with us, so now you have a couple extra months!” 

Her wisdom was spot-on, but I was most impressed by her trying to find the silver lining. She inspired me to start looking for my own silver linings from today. Just a few:

Claire opted out of TV time this afternoon to spend a couple of hours working on her animal project. She created a really cool diorama. 

We FaceTimed Grandma this morning and read a book together. 

The kids finally didn’t complain when I told them it was time to take our afternoon walk (well, Henry complained, but it doesn’t count when they’re four.) 

Grace, who prefers to keep the school-type stuff only in the allotted school hours, was so inspired to work on her animal project that she jumped right into after dinner and created a sharp-looking poster and found a video to accompany her presentation. 

My brother sent a video of my Dad that I hadn't watched before. I got to hear his voice again. He was, of course, giving advice as he loved to do. It made my heart so happy.

I am married to such a great husband that when I told him this morning I needed some time to myself, he said “go for it” without a moment’s hesitation. And when I said the kids are planning on school, he said, “I got it.” 

Thinking about all of this reminded me that in every situation, you can find good and bad. Depending on the situation, one is usually obvious, the other a little harder to find. Lately, and probably for the foreseeable future, the bad will be obvious. It’s up to us to keep looking for the good and keep practicing gratitude. 

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