I’m so tired.
That’s what I realized earlier this week as I opened the mail. So this one’s for the others like me: the mothers, fathers, grandparents and care providers who have lived a year full of hope and now feel helpless.
Tired? You say. Of what you ask?
I’m tired of opening mail and staring at letters (grades) I’ve never imagined nor seen until this past year.
I’m tired of asking my kids, what is going on? How can I help you?
I’m tired of them staring at me blankly lost for words.
I’m tired of looking at their two beautiful faces stare blankly at a screen.
I’m tired of feedback from educators that they’re “not engaging in class.”
I’m tired of the look of defeat as they spend 30 minutes in a class and hours hovered over a computer doing homework.
I’m tired of frustration: theirs, mine and hours.
I’m tired of the color purple.
I’m tired of watching their hopes get up and then let down.
I’m tired of feeling as if I’ve failed them.
I’m tired of sleepless nights and days filled with wonder.
I’m tired of wishing I could do more for them.
I’m tired of watching them communicate through tear-filled eyes as they struggle to articulate “why” they’re behind.
I’m tired of watching two vibrant kids lose hope.
This is not how it should be. We as adults have allowed far too much to go on for too long. This dilemma is bigger than a vaccine, a nose swipe or wearing a mask. It won’t be repaired by a stimulus check or COVID relief money. This is its own “pandemic” minus a doctor sharing statistics and a rainbow chart to guide us on its “danger.”
Dear Lord I am just so tired.
Sadly, I have no answers, wisdom or “lessons” to add here. I have only honesty. My pom poms have seen better days. I now (like my children) am struggling to lasso that hope that keeps one going.
When does it end? Where does it end and how do we dig out?
These are real (raw) feelings. These are the side effects of what happens when you shut down the world for a full year. This is the result of turning humans to caged animals.
Sound overly dramatic? Tell that to the children. The children whose eyes fill with tears when they hear “no school yet” and the ones who weep just as much when they first step foot back in a classroom. I surrender.
I’m just so tired.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.