There was nothing to prepare me for home-schooling, as there was no preparation for Covid-19, and lest I forget, there was no preparation for the impact you made on my life the first time that I saw you. A bit wrinkled and very pink with spiked hedgehog hair, hair that defied the brush, refused a ribbon as it stood up straight, black and shiny. I decided to leave it alone after a few attempts to create order.
We gurgled together, inspected new teeth together, we crawled together, marveled at your first Christmas tree, you listened to me read Plato, Aristotle, Goethe, Kipling, Arendt, you were eager for the sound of my voice though dissenting voices said I was boring you, yet I watched your eyes follow my mouth as I read. I eventually got around to the Three Little Pigs which became your favorite all time story. We transitioned to Dora and Swiper and Doc McStuffin, Peppa Pig, and a host of others. We had those good days singing together and I did not consider any of those things home-schooling.
Twelve years later along came Covid-19 and all its ills and surprises that made us gasp and back up. That day you came home suddenly confused and indignant, “Grandma they threw us out, they said we must take our text books and leave”. We sat together for about fifteen minutes as I pondered what to say to you, as for once I did not have a coherent sentence to soothe your ruffled feathers. You sat there waiting. How could you know that I was crying inside, and that my concealed tears were scorching my insides creating its own petrichor, how could you know? Later on as the coronavirus became the headline you told me that you had no idea that the virus was the reason you had to come home, you actually thought that the school and teachers were just tired of the children. Reality struck and fear came aboard.
TEACHERS, like Nurses, Mothers, Doctors and frontline Care Givers do not suddenly get tired and walk away, instead they drop dead on the job if relief is not forth-coming. I have always been on the frontline of care giving and worn several of these caps, sometimes all at once, and all the while I understood my role. One remains in the heat no matter the temperature.
SHUTTERED IN PLACE learning had to continue and I realized with a jolt that I was to be the teacher. What the hell! My first reaction was to actually run for the hills as I saw my routine shredded in the wind. Once again my writing is to be on hold and my rhythm was shot. I was forced to surrender to Geometry, Algebra, Graphs, Venn diagrams and all the other mathematic atrocities, in my quest to captain this new ship. But before any lessons began I had to quickly like a boss establish myself as the new Sherriff in town. I saw the teenager rearing its ugly head to challenge the substitute teacher and I went into survival mode. With my hard hat on, I whispered a prayer and rode out to meet the dragon.
A TEENAGER IS A FORCE to be reckoned with, but life experience is a powerful tool. Very quickly I reached out to other parents on this behemoth venture, we were either going to go down as a ship of fools or we would steer our children home safely to shore through the fog of Covid-19 while continuing their education, feeding them, providing shelter and advice. It has been three months and days since the viral disruption, the rising at seven thirty am, a mind- numbing feat, teaching, ignoring pouts and arguments, scrubbing vengeful thoughts from my mind, daily confessions to the Almighty, burying the dead, hearing about riots and race wars, and now stand at the almost end of the school year so to speak.
GRADUATION is not going to be as I understand it. A ZOOM graduation to me is heresy, yet, it’s what I will be attending. It sticks in my craw crosswise and I just cannot accept and swallow. Therefore I will look at what was accomplished. The child on my lap is about to transition to a young lady to High School and I am delighted to report that in that new school she must study Latin in the freshman year. “Amo, Amas, Amat” My joy is halfway complete. There is a God!!
THANKS to all parents in the draft, we are almost there, your support and encouragement was much appreciated. Soon enough they will be off to some place of higher learning, but first things first, these riots, virus and fires…….any thoughts?