I posted something on my social media the other day about how I was upset that my kids’ schools closed for the foreseeable future. Mostly, people were supportive of my grief and offered me love or “same here” messages.
One person replied with a meme. Not only was it a meme, it was a grammatically incorrect meme which set me off right there.
The meme said something to the effect of, “You are all complaining about staying home with your kids and I’m worried I’m going to infect mine.” There was a picture of a healthcare worker, mask on.
First of all, okay, yeah, lady, you’re right. It could be worse.
I’m not working on the front lines, and really feel for people who are. I support them emotionally and digitally, stay home for them, and am doing my part to minimize the spread of this thing. I am thankful for my health and for my family’s health.
But then I got to thinking, this person doesn’t know me. How do they KNOW I don’t work in healthcare? They assumed I was whining about being home with my kids because that’s all that particular post covered.
Not to mislead–I am a teacher, not a nurse or doctor.
My post didn’t cover how my husband DOES work in health care. It didn’t cover how his clinic is closed and he had to lay everyone in his office off, including himself, and apply for unemployment.
It didn’t cover how he’s still going in for emergencies, so he’s still potentially in the line of fire for infection. He wears gloves, a mask, and a gown at work and washes up when he gets home. Still, we are scared, and rightfully so.
If the disease doesn’t get us, we may be financially ruined anyway, or at least will be having some major setbacks.
When I put that righteous indignation to the side, I thought, wait, even if I was home, and even if my husband’s business and health wasn’t on the line, I STILL think it’s okay that I’m sad.
I’m sad my daughter may not finish her kindergarten year.
I’m sad my super social son doesn’t get to spend his days with his friends, learning necessary social skills.
I’m sad my special ed kids aren’t getting their services.
I’m sad kids who need school for food, socialization, and a safe place don’t get to go.
I’m sad not to see my students.
And I’m worried.
I’m worried about our health. Our business. Our economy. Our world.
And, dang it, I’m really BUMMED.
I was supposed to see a play in town the night the theatres closed. I was supposed to go to Broadway over spring break. My husband was supposed to take a “man trip” with his best friends the first weekend in April.
We’d planned for these things. Saved for them. We were REALLY looking forward to getting a break.
We cancelled my daughter’s birthday party.
My kids’ grandparents live a short drive away and we can’t hug them.
I don’t know how to teach math.
I don’t know how to teach kindergarten! I don’t know anything at all about teaching a defiant three-year-old to write his name.
I didn’t want to spend my days in sweats, washing towels and doing dishes, improvising meals no one likes with pantry staples.
I wanted to WORK. To teach and write.
I am allowed to feel these negative feelings.
Even though it could be worse.
Even though I could have it harder.
Even though I’m safe, warm, well-fed, and healthy.
And you can, too.