I gotta tell ya, I’ve never really been a bumper sticker kinda girl, and I never thought I would be. Other people are free to do whatever floats their boat and I have no objection, but personally I have never felt the desire to convey to the strangers driving behind me in traffic what my political views happen to be, even though I have strong views, or what my personal interest and likes are, though I have strong passions. So when my son brought home a holiday gift bag from his teacher that included a bumper sticker, I hesitated to put it on my car. I told Luke that we should perhaps think of some other place where we could put it. But he really wanted to put it on the car.
And then I thought to myself, you know what, if there is a bumper sticker out there that I would want to have on my car, this is it.
Listen guys, it’s been one hell of a year. I can’t even begin to tell you how much admiration I have for his first grade teacher Mrs. Arnold, and all the other school teachers out there like her, who have been presented with a challenge that is overwhelming to say the least, as we have bounced from hybrid to fully remote and back to hybrid and then back to fully remote again, while we currently await a pending decision from the school board to take place on January 11 as to whether we go back to hybrid after that.
And all along this woman has shown unbelievable grace, strength, resilience, perseverance, creativity, resourcefulness, kindness, understanding, humor, patience and compassion all while under stress that would likely only bring out the worst in myself. She consistently emphasizes the importance of kindness, compassion, and self-worth in her curriculum every week, which is so awesome, and so very needed and necessary. And not only that, she goes out of her way to encourage all of us struggling parents as we navigate this uncharted territory.
Just to give you an example of what I’m talking about, here is a link she sent out to all the parents recently. (If you haven’t seen this video already you might want to grab a box of tissues first.)
Watch “Alicia Keys - Good Job | Cover by One Voice Children’s Choir | A Tribute to Covid-19 Heroes” on YouTube
So I am resolving to do my best to heed her advice and follow her example, though it often ain’t easy and frustration creeps in and threatens to steal my sanity. Like when I’m writing up this very post on my tablet while my on my phone waiting on hold with my health insurance company for literally an hour and a half, (pausing the writing to take my phone in the kitchen to Luke lunch in the middle), in order to find out if my outrageously expensive prescription would be cheaper at a different pharmacy, to finally get a person on the line with the answer to my question, which was no, it wouldn’t be. …only to then turn my attention to wrapping up the end of this post and then somehow managing to lose all my work and having to start over from the beginning:woman_facepalming:.
But I was able to recall what I wrote, and the representatives from the insurance company I spoke to were polite and friendly and helpful, and offered some suggestions that could very well help (goodrx and something new called optum perks), so I’m focusing on the positive and holding on to hope.
In the words of Mrs. Arnold (copied straight from her message to parents) and now being sent from me to you:
"More than anything…after a year like we have all had…we all need some HOPE in our lives… so if I can give you anything this year I want to give you HOPE!
If you keep just one thing in your heart…let it be HOPE. Let it be HOPE that gets you through the most difficult of times. Let it be HOPE that makes you stronger than any challenge that lies ahead. Let it be HOPE that lets you see you are where you are meant to be right now. Let it be HOPE that opens new doors that lead you to where you are meant to go. Let it be HOPE that opens your heart to kindness, joy and love and carries you through life’s journey."
And also remember that Kindness Matters…and You Matter!