This isn’t really a post with any sort of Bey Family insight or update necessarily… It’s kind of not even a real post at all.
I started writing about puberty and bathrooming and this weird place it’s got us, but something’s been nagging at me-- and it’s not just Kirk. Bad joke-- I know. Honestly, Kirk said something that made me want to change direction at the last minute (and by last minute I’m typing as fast as my fingers will go just to get everything down before my eyes slam shut for the night… It’s a race to the finish, and I’m betting on my fingers to win.)
Kirk said to me that he feels like he’s not doing a good job with Nolan’s academics with no school right now.
Honestly? I’ve heard that more times in the last week or two than I can count. It’s not just him. It’s friends at work, friends I’ve known since school, random strangers I talk to at work, and really just everywhere. And it’s not just the school work (though that’s something a lot of folks are more comfortable vocalizing right now). We feel like the time we’re spending at home waiting for relative safety is somehow wasted or should be put to better use.
Right now, our world has been turned upside down. Routine and schedules have gone out the window. The way we live our lives has changed dramatically--we’re cooking and eating differently, we’re shopping differently, we’re learning differently, many of us are sleeping differently (I’ve heard a lot of “I just couldn’t turn my brain off to sleep last night…”), and we’re going through our days differently than most of us would have ever imagined.
So let’s take a moment and give ourselves a break.
No. I take that back. Let’s not give ourselves a break-- we don’t deserve that. We deserve awards.
Because in case no one has told you lately, you rock. Seriously.
It's not a real award, but I could make it available as a postcard maybe...
And, no, rocking this doesn’t look the same for you as it does for the family next door, so just put that out of your head right now. I mean, sure… Some of us are working out twice a day to get stronger and more flexible over the duration of this situation. Some of us are using the time to take enrichment classes online. Some of us are trying new hobbies and learning new skills. Some of us are finally tackling some long overdue home improvement projects. Still others of us are stress eating and staring at screens for far longer than we’d like to admit. (That’s me-- I’m the last one…)
Honestly it doesn’t matter how you’re getting through this. It only matters THAT you’re getting through this.
And for anyone who is teaching their children from home and feeling under qualified to be teaching them, you’re not alone. Just remember: No one is falling behind right now because no one else is in schools right now… And really, who’s worried about keeping up with the Joneses when things have gone this screwy.
When your kids look back on this time in their lives, they’re not going to remember the answers that you got right or wrong. They’re not going to remember you fumbling through math with them. What they’re going to remember is that you were there with them helping them through this. You helped them where they needed it and gave them the space and freedom to grow on their own where they needed that. You showed them that their education is important to you, and that you want them to be successful even when everything feels uncertain.
You showed them that parents (and adults in general) are human and don’t always have the answers or know what to expect next. You’re teaching them that adults are still learning and using what they have learned in the past to help solve the problems of the present.
You’re being a role model.
And even if you’re barely surviving this, you’re showing them that this is survivable. Your life doesn’t have to look like Karen’s from the next block up-- your lawn doesn’t have to be pristine, and your hair and makeup don’t have to be done just to walk 12 feet to your mailbox. Even if that means spaghetti for dinner for 9 out of the next 14 days, they’re still getting to eat and even share meals together.
So even if your kids see you on a day where you don’t have the energy to put pants on, they’ll eventually come to understand that some days the goal is just to survive. It’s a valid and even noble goal.
So give yourself that break, reward, pat on the back, or treat. You’ve earned it.
And if Karen has a problem with your pantsless trip to the mailbox, you have my permission to tell her to kindly social distance herself. We’re all fighting this battle in our own way.