Damn You Cornoavirus
by Michele L. Mueller on 03/18/20
Well, I haven't blogged in a long time. I think I decided to start because I need an outlet for venting and sharing. I'll tell you right now so you can decide if you want to continue reading or not...this probably has very little to do with painting and ALL to do with what my family and I are going through in regards to this "pandemic" sweeping our nation. So, read on or switch pages now...your choice.
Before yesterday, none of this seemed to impact my family TOO directly or at least with minimal consequences. Yes, our 11 year old son was going to be home from school until early April but that wasn't overwhelming. It was Monday and he was going back to school for Tuesday and Wednesday and then the "stay home from school" guideline would start. I could handle that. Then, Governor Evers declared that school was closed indefinitely, etc. My phone chirped shortly after with a message that school was cancelled for Tuesday, etc. WHAT? HOW? NOW WHAT? The school posted hours to stop by and pick up materials and belongings. I messaged the post and asked if we were to stop to pick up learning materials and jackets...or were we supposed to clean out lockers. Yep...it was both. Get additional learning materials AND clean out lockers. That's when I went into silent mom panic mode. I literally felt tears welling up in my eyes, I couldn't catch my breath and all I had at that point was questions: Who's gonna teach him? Do I home-school for REAL now? How will this affect his grades and his next year of 7th grade? I'm not smart enough for this! So much to keep organized...how am I gonna do THAT in this small house?! I can't fight with him every time I need him to focus - I'll have a heart attack! Every 2 minutes he gets distracted and talks about butts and farts and pets the cat...this is going to be a chore beyond my patience! And so on and so on...
I snuck away into the bathroom and cried. I was full of questions and self doubt and a sense of being overwhelmed with the new task of holding my child's education in my dumb-a** hands. I eventually tried to talk to my husband while the kiddo was busy but that didn't pan out too well. Little did I know he was having his own little freak out mode on how the cornoavirus could financially really hurt us. He runs a customer based business - he's a charter captain who takes people out on Lake Michigan fishing. Without going into that part more - let's just say we did nothing to ease each other's concerns. Now what? I need wine and have none in the house - rarely do actually.
Off to the little local store I go...deep breaths and tears in the corner of each eye. "Hold it together, Michele. You don't need the small town store lady to ask...what's the matter with you? Ain't nobody need to push THAT button labeled...OPEN FLOOD GATES! lol To make my anxiety worse...no good wine! I felt myself about to faint - okay, no I didn't but I'm not saying it wasn't a thought for a split second. I opted for a tiny handheld bottom of Fireball. A little sip of that should calm my nerves, I'm sure. I see people on tv drink it so why can't I? I'll try it - I'm sure it's fine, I thought. Came home, took a sip and no. It did nothing. As I wasn't willing to drink more I just put on my big girl panties and did the best I could for the rest of the evening.
All night I knew we'd be headed to school today to do the dreaded task of severing physical ties with our school building and teachers..."indefinitely". Did I sleep? Hell no. Well...maybe a little bit but not a good sleep.
My son and I did our morning modified routine and off to school we went. "Please don't let me break down in the hallway in front of this kid." I kept saying to myself. Yep...I failed. As the teachers approached us I could see the same look on their faces but for different reasons. Matthew went on to each classroom to grab all his classroom materials which left us adults time to speak our truths. Mine was tears, fears and questions. I was some what of a hot mess. Even though we are supposed to be practicing "social distancing" we all hugged each other in support. They had their cry the past few days and were trying hard to at least hold it together while us parents watched it shatter as we dropped it on the floor...so to speak.
Once we all got a grip and the teachers moved on to comfort the next parent...I was left standing in a hallway alone. The weight of the moment hit me like a ton of bricks and I snapped a pic and made a Facebook post of a row of lockers and my kiddo's belongings on the floor in a backpack and garbage bag (thank you, custodian).
We all said our goodbyes as we walked towards the door, made a few jokes to lighten the mood, and off to the car we went. Done. Over.
On the ride home my son asked me why I cried...dang! He saw me! I thought he was in a classroom! I don't remember how I explained it. I was too concerned about the look on his face which was kinda like...he was trying to process what just happened at school and he was feeling some kind of way about it...sad, maybe confused, maybe a little happy that school is done, etc. So we just talked about it all the rest of the 10 minute ride home and more throughout the day.
PLOP...goes the over-stuffed backpack and garbage bag of school materials and belongings right onto the dining room table. Great! Now I've gotta figure out a way to get this all organized, by class, and what about the mess that's ALREADY on the dining room table? Ugh...I need to eat something, I thought. Then, I can think through this and formulate a plan on how to tackle this all so it can be organized and easy to get to, etc. Although our school district isn't implementing a true online classroom learning they ARE supplementing through Google Classroom and the Remind app. So, somehow I have to make new binders and get this all super duper organized so I can feel a sense of control over this out of control feeling I have.
When we thought he only had a few weeks off of school I set learning hours for him. Today we got home during those hours and kiddo said to me, "Mom. Should I get learning.now? I only have 1 hour left. What should I focus on...wait..I'm gonna see what the teachers posted new on Google Classroom. Then I'll figure it out." "Yep, sounds good.", I replied. He mentioned that part of his "homework" was to practice guitar for his music class. "Should I do that now?" I knew he was asking because he wasn't sure if I'd say no...do some REAL work like Social Studies. lol I told him that we've already had a somewhat emotional day...go play some instruments if he wanted. I figured he might was well have an outlet for what ever emotions he was still feeling about this. Plus, he's a great musician and I love hearing him play so selfishly I knew it would be soothing to me, too.
That's when I decided to reinstate this blog as an outlet for each day forward until things get back to normal around this house and this country. If it can help me and maybe someone else know that they aren't alone in this then it has served it's purpose.
I love that our son will be home but I have self doubt that I can handle staying on top of this "at home learning". I can teach him to make pancakes and be a good friend and a caring person but Social Studies? Science? MATH?! Well...guess what. Again, time for big girl panties and I'm gonna have to just do my best and so will our kiddo.
The teachers were reassuring at school today and I know they will continue to be involved in their learning and providing support for us all now and into next school year. They have questions just like I do and I now realize that we are all just trying to do our best with what we have. I'm grateful that I'm a stay-at-home mom who has the time TO figure this out and to be here with our kiddo during it. My hats are off to those moms who don't have that chance right now. I'm thinking...if you all can do it then I should be able to figure it out with minimal whining. Thus far, I have not implemented that part but will shortly. ;)
From the parents who now have to implement online learning to the grown kids who have to sit outside their parents nursing home windows to the stock market, to the people who are actually dealing with this virus, and many more...many of us have different stressors but they are all from the same reason...so Cornoavirus...we all say to you...suck it! You might have the upper hand at this moment but not for long.