A Frantic Improvisational Game Where the Points Don’t Matter

by David Preyde

All right, doing anything as a disabled person is bullshit. Going to get groceries is bullshit: if you’re autistic, like me, it’s too bright and too loud and too crowded. If you’re in a wheelchair, like my wife, half the food is out of reach. Walking down the street is bullshit- too loud, too crowded (for me), or nobody pays attention to you and bumps into you or blocks you (my wife). Hell, my wife almost got her ass killed trying to get off the subway, because the gap between the platform and the train was too big.

This is just ordinary, everyday shit.

Then you add parenting into the mix, and that’s a whole different thing. People don’t even think disabled people can have sex, let alone parent, and so the whole system of parenthood- everything from doctor’s appointments to daycares- simply isn’t set up for us. Everything we do is a mad scramble, a frantic improvisational game where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.

Anyway, my wife and I are smart as hell, and resilient, so we made it work. We found a groove. My wife is the face of our relationship- she deals with other people, and does the detail work, and generally makes sure our lives keep running.

And I help keep my wife keep running by helping her out with all the physical stuff that needs doing; the stuff she physically can’t do. It works. Together, we are a full person.

Then a global pandemic struck, and holy shit. As if there wasn’t enough goddamn stress in our lives, we had to deal with a crisis of near apocalyptic proportions.

We had no idea how long it was going to last- a few weeks maybe?- so we farmed our toddler out to my wife’s parents. This enabled my wife to keep working at home without interruptions.

For a few weeks, that was fine. Everything kept functioning smoothly in our cozy bubble. But we missed our kid, and the world outside kept getting worse, and so after two weeks we made the decision to go and live with my in-laws until the pandemic was over.

Of course, this wasn’t easy to do, because my father-in-law had to rent a van and drive five hours across a wasteland of infectious disease in order to pick us up, and then drive another five hours back. Everything is bullshit when you’re disabled.

So that was a month and a half ago. Since then we’ve been sequestered in a very pleasant, very large house in the middle of nowhere. Nothing is within walking distance, and I don’t drive, which makes my wife and I dependent on her parents for everything.

Now, when you’re disabled, you are taught repeatedly that you’re a burden. You’re made ashamed of needing things, of needing help. My wife and I call it “the shame of existing”. I suspect all disabled folks have it, to a certain extent. It’s dangerous, because it’s so constant, and it’s easy to stop noticing, and it’s easy to internalize.

Not only are we depending on my in-laws for food and shelter, but we’re also depending on them for childcare. My wife continues to work full-time remotely, and my autism makes any change in my routine excruciatingly difficult. It drains me of energy and leaves me feeling unmoored. So right now I’m in survival mode, unable to do much of anything, and struggling with the shame of existence. I spend as much time with my toddler as possible, and do what I can. I feel it isn’t enough. My wife feels I’m doing enough, but that she isn’t doing enough. I feel she’s doing enough. We both feel the constant shame of existence.

My in-laws are pleasant people. They are nice. They are friendly. So it’s easy to ignore what’s happening under the surface. They’re big believers in bootstraps. They think if everyone just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, everything would be fine. They think every problem would be solved if folks just made a little more effort.

Well, I can’t lace up bootstraps because I have dyspraxia, and my wife can’t wear boots due to chronic edema.

My in-laws’ pathological belief in the Value of Effort drives a wedge between them and my wife and I. We try to communicate with them, but they can’t understand us. And because they help us so much, I feel guilty resenting them. Aren’t they nice? Aren’t they decent? Aren’t they making an effort? If I made an effort, maybe I could be better. There it is again: the shame of existing.

When you’re disabled, everything’s bullshit. But that’s not the natural result of being disabled. It has nothing to do with disability.

It’s because we’re not accommodated. We’re not understood. Non-disabled people don’t make room for us.

If they only made an effort, our lives would be better. The non-disabled really need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They need to put their nose to the grindstone. They need to get their acts together.

I mean, I see non-disabled people try- bless their hearts- and their struggle is so inspirational. But if they’d try just a little harder, maybe their problems in coping with us would be solved.

Maybe the gap between them and us would be closed.

But I don’t really think that’ll happen any time soon. And I can’t dwell too much on the future. I have to concentrate on the present. Right now, I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere. I help my wife out as much as I can. She helps me. We help raise our kid the best we can, and try to remember that every parent is struggling right now.

But not every parent is dealing with this particular kind of bullshit. No-one should have to.

4 Kids, Multiple Sclerosis, and COVID-19: Oh My!

Annette sits in her house smiling at the camera.

by Annette (Gugu) Spinner

My son called me in August, 2019. He told me that his wife had left him and their four children. He had lost his job amongst all of the mess because he had nobody to watch the kids while he worked. He  managed to get another job and would start on the following Tuesday.

Moms mouth opened and spoke without any thought. Dont worry, Son, your sister and I will be there by then!” He was 720 miles away. There were so many times in that week that I wanted to back out. Every time, all I could think was that my mama would walk through the fires of hell for me, I have no choice. So, I started putting items online to sell. I was running out of time.

I received a message that a lady was interested in my living room furniture. I posted it cheap, knowing that I didnt have much time. She came to get the furniture and I asked if she would be interested in the rest of the household furnishings free of charge, I had to go. Come to find out, she was starting a home for her 8 year old son and herself, fresh out of rehab. I put a few things in storage and told her to just pay it forward. We made it to Iowa from Arkansas on Monday.

Wow! 4 kids, ages 9, 7, 3 and 1. Get up, get two on the bus and start the day. Bathe two, both in diapers, feed them, clean house, do never ending laundry, have a snack for the older two when they arrived back home, cook supper, make sure the older two had baths, lay clothes out for tomorrow and literally fall  into bed around 8 PM. Do it all again tomorrow! Seven weeks of this and my work was done. Other arrangements were made and I wasnt needed anymore.

So, we headed back to Arkansas from Iowa. With my mothers help, we were able to rent a trailer. Im thankful that I was able to return, because my mom was 87 years old. She would have her 18th birthday on February 29 (leap year baby) and I didnt want to miss that. Well, it turned out that we buried her on her 18th birthday, I even got a birthday banner for her coffin, it made losing her pretty special. The odds of burying her on that particular day were unreal.

Turned out that my sons plans had backfired on him and he had not been able to work since December 31. He was sinking. The pandemic had began, he was scared of being stuck in Iowa with no job or any way of supporting the children for who knew how long. He had already gone through most of his tax return, but he loaded up his Suburban with babies, a few clothes and arrived on my doorstep on March 18, 2020.

In a 1970s model, three bedroom trailer, I went to work taking care of six, counting my 17-year-old daughter. Its what Mama does! In the middle of the pandemic shutting things down, he got a job. Not just any job, but a job with the city. Thank You Jesus!

I must admit that the job for Gugu is even harder than before. Since school is closed, due to coronavirus, I have all four children at home 24/7. Its 3 meals/2 snacks, four baths, cleaning, never ending laundry and CRASH!

I read that COVID-19 is a disease where your white blood cells dont protect your body from invaders. Instead, they attack your tissues, cells and organs. Another symptom is chronic fatigue. Its not the flu or a cold, a nap wont help. You will never get better. Hitting the gym and only eating a sandwich wont take off the pounds. No matter how long you sleep, you never feel rested. Get used to the last minute changes in plans because you dont ever know how you will feel. Painful muscles, bones and joints, hair loss, mood swings, anxiety and depression are just tips of the iceberg. You easily catch bacterial and viral infections. Even when you think you can fake how you feel, there will be days when you cant smile at anyone, no matter how hard you try.

How ironic! COVID-19 sounds an awful lot like what Ive been dealing with for 22 years, Multiple Sclerosis!

However, MS is what is known as an invisible disability. Most of the time, MS patients disabilities arent immediately apparent. I cant tell you how many people have said to me, You dont look sick.” Hmmm, what exactly does sick look like?

As a matter of fact, I saw a T-shirt that read,  “I will fight against MS because God chose me to fight it. While I wish the people around me could understand it, I wouldnt wish this for anyone.”

So, most peoples quarantine and isolation started around March, 2020. Mine started December, 1997. Most grandmothers would be totally enjoying having these four babies to take care of every day. I absolutely adore them, but its more than a full-time job for me to be able to get out of bed most days, much less take care of them all day, every day. However, every time a negative thought crosses my mind, I just thank God for the opportunity that He has given me. With my determination and His help, we will not only make it through this small stepping stone of Coronavirus, we will make it through many years of different obstacles. LOVE will see us through!

My kids Have Learned Compassion and Empathy

Jenna is outside, smiling and looking directly at the camera. Black and white photo.

by Jenna Pashley Smith

olimoo.com

Im a mom to two kids aged six and eight. My disability is largely invisible: Ive had rheumatoid arthritis for twenty years and racked up various joint damages. My limitations change by the day: some days I feel relatively able, others I can barely walk. The unpredictability of this disease has been a challenge for my parenting from the very beginning. But as a result, this is also the only mom theyve ever known, a mom who winces  when they reach for my hand, but also one who can sometimes turn crooked cartwheels with them. Other days, Im the mom who limps around the house with a cherry red walker.

Being asked to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis has not been the horror I thought it would be. This disease flares up for me more under certain conditions. The normal suburban lifestyle in our area-overextended and extremely active-kept me on a constant rollercoaster of energy drains and physical strain. The permanent damage in my wrists, fingers, and an elbow mean that even driving is uncomfortable on my best days. And a good day could turn bad in a hurry. My children havent visited the zoo more than a handful of times, even though our city has a fantastic one. The 45 minute drive, plus miles of walking, means that Im completely trashed before weve finished visiting the elephants! So they miss out on things because of me. I try not to feel guilty about that. But when everything is closed, I dont have to feel guilty at all!

At home, I dont have to push to keep up with the myriad activities of school and friendships and activities that used to make up our daily grind. Ive always managed by juggling the days symptoms and adjusting on the fly. When I pushed too hard, Id cancel all plans and spend a few days in bed, recovering. Our friends never really saw me on bad days, so I dont know how many people actually really understand the degree to which this disease impacts my life. The pressure to participate or go out was always high in our social circles. Its a relief to not have any of that now. I dont have to worry about hurting anyones feelings by declining invitations. Instead, we garden. We take our books outside and read in the gorgeous spring weather. The kids have been kicking soccer balls around and practicing their handstands. I offer encouragement from the sidelines and nap when I need to.

My kids are pretty aware of when I need help, especially my daughter. Shell give me a shoulder massage or rub my hands. Ive been the recipient of many naptime facials” complete with abstract makeup and intriguing hairstyles! My son has become a voracious reader, and he likes nothing better than to cuddle up with a fat book. Thats an activity I can always participate in!

At the beginning, I couldnt rest at all. My anxiety was hammering away at any shred of calm I found. I didnt know if I could trust my kids to stay home, so I was on high alert all the time. We live in a close-knit neighborhood surrounded by families with kids all the same age. The children have a 1980s sort of existence, bouncing from house to house as they play all afternoon, sometimes all day on the weekends. Isolation was extra necessary as the neighbor affectionately known as Everybodys Grandma” and I were both high-risk individuals.

My inflammation got really bad during those first weeks. I was having difficulty using my hands and I was fearful of using some of the medication options at my disposal because my husband was (at the time), still having to go into the office every day. Halfway through our quarantine” he was furloughed to half-time. Its not ideal from a financial sense, but at least we still have health insurance, and the week off is a welcome relief for the whole family.

Once we found a rhythm for our weeks, my symptoms got better. I took care of myself in the small ways I could. And letting go of anxiety through breathing exercises, diving into my writing, and limiting social media really helped. In our old” life, we realized between school and activities, we only really spent time together as a family for a few hours every day. The quality time with my family has been amazing. Its allowed my husband and I to get to know our children in a new way.

One thing Ive noticed during quarantine is that my physical limitations have forced my kids to grow up differently than their peers. Other parents Ive talked to are carefully curating what their kids hear and learn about the pandemic (and life in general). Not my kids. I keep it age-appropriate, but we havent ever tried to shield them from the realities of pain and suffering. I dont actually want them to have a rosy, innocent outlook. I want them to recognize that pain is part of life. Not ideal, but real. They need to see that pain isnt to be avoided, but to be faced, whether its a scraped elbow, a knee swollen like a cauliflower, or grief. Pain is a signal, but until its faced, youll have no idea if the signal means stop!” or keep going!”

When we talk about staying home, even my extremely extroverted daughter understands that its to keep people safe. People like mama. And even if theyre sad about missing their friends, the sacrifice is worth it. Theyre not complaining about fairness, because the world isnt fair. Instead, they pray for the germs to die” and for all the people working tirelessly in hospitals and grocery stores. Living with me and my disease, theyve learned a compassion and empathy that gives me hope for the world theyll be part of rebuilding.  They keep going. And so do I.

Life During the New Normal

Sampson is looking down at the camera with a slight smile.

by Sampson Edowe (@Siriacy_Trust)

Life during the new normal” is being quite challenging for me, yet revealing. It has provided an ample opportunity for self-appraisal and introspection. It has also shown that what ordinarily appears unthinkable, undoable and maybe outright unrealistic is very much in the opposite. Such that I can conclude that at some point physical disabilities are not all regrettable hindrances but necessary limitations.

I am Sampson Edowe by name, 35 and a single parent with an amputated leg. Being a single parent of one daughter is most definitely going to be very challenging, most especially in the face of a pandemic. The current reality has brought along with it more discomforts amidst uncertainty. As a man who had being living with an amputated leg, I had already made some necessary adjustment to help me cope with my current situation. The adjustments had been coincidentally favoured by the stay-at-home rule occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

I have lived with my disability for almost three years now. The outbreak of the pandemic has indeed caused some changes in terms of my lifestyle, job and daily schedules even in my relationship with my twelve year old daughter who is still in high school. The novel coronavirus was first reported in Nigeria on the 27th February 2020. I could remember vividly I was returning from a private publishing firm in the ever-busy city of Lagos where I have worked for five years when the news of a man being tested positive for the virus was reported in the country. I was greatly troubled because I had read what western countries with even better medical facilities were going through. I imagined the worst as I feared my unpreparedness for the new evil was going to be costly.

The spread of the virus started gathering momentum in March and the first issue that shook my world was when the company driver that was assigned to take me to work was asked to withhold his services. I then had to rely on the goodwill of my neighbours to get to work for the few days the company kept running before everything grounded to a halt. The government had to enforce the city lockdown in order to curb the spread of the virus.

I had just paid my daughters school charges and my mortgage fees so I was barely struggling to stay financially afloat again. Battling with a nagging back pain that I felt was a result of the sedentary nature of my job made me feel everything was happening all too quickly. Having to cope with the adjustments caused by the lockdown policy has always given me nightmares. I tried to understand that walking about to get things I wanted was always going to give me difficulties because all along I had been reliant on friends and neighbours to get going. All that had since changed. Everyone is now trying to find ways to survive the uncertainties of the moment.

School had since closed and my daughter is constantly with me at home reciprocating all the love and care I have been showing her since she was a toddler. Though she is young, her level of maturity and understanding is rare. My married sister who lives a few miles away had been stopping by to help us in cooking meals most especially in the evenings but with the lockdown policy she could no longer stop by. I have now tried to do some cooking by myself with my daughter providing some little help. I had gotten a wheelchair to quicken my movement around the home and I tried to level every surface high enough to hinder my movement. This has help get around some places which hitherto I seldom enter like the store, kitchen and laundry room.

As the lockdown intensifies I tend to rely more on online shopping than I ever did before with the charges being at cut-throat rates.  Before the outbreak of the pandemic my company driver was given the permission to drop off my daughter at school in the morning where she was served breakfast and lunch before driving me to work. At work Id sent a colleague to help me with shopping if I ever needed anything. Sadly, all that is changed now as everybody is concerned about their own affairs.

With the graph of the pandemic rising daily I was among the first set of workers that was advised to work from home and was equally placed on a pay cut. The company had been severely affected by the pandemic and needed a little adjustment to stay operational. The pay cut has had dire consequences on my finances and well being at this period. I have already told my daughter that we are cutting down on the amount we are spending on buying cookies and also the money we spend on TV subscriptions. In addition to the discomfort caused by the pay slash is the problem of poor electricity supply which has hindered my productivity. I cannot work on tasks or ensure the timely completion of tasks that are assigned to me. As a result of this, I am constantly queried for not living up to the expectations by my employers.

My daughter who had been home now for almost two months now constantly battles with mood swings. She complains bitterly that she misses her friends and playmates in school to the extent that she makes it really difficult for me to be focused on tasks. The reality I face as disabled person is compounded by the outbreak of the pandemic. I can only wish that a vaccine for this virus be discovered early enough so that we can at least return to the period where we enjoyed the company and solidarity of others which the social distancing and lockdown rules have robbed us of.

Making Peace with Dependence

Kelsey looking at the camera

by Kelsey Thompson

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of independence.  Here in the United States, this seems to be a value we hold quite dear.  It’s a quality we admire and toward which we strive.  We seem to particularly enamored with stories of people who are self-sufficient, giving the impression that they take care of themselves without help.  This is abundantly true for those of us with disabilities who have literally fought for our independence in communities, employment, civic participation and technology, fueling revolutions like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  At the heart of that battle is a desire for independence.

The ADA was signed when I was ten years old.  It’s safe to say that I don’t remember much about what life was like pre-ADA.  I’ve been spoiled, in this regard, to have come of age in a time when people with disabilities like myself have opportunities like never before.  I’ve had a disability since birth and, growing up, I was a fierce fighter for my independence almost to a fault.  I loathed accommodations or assistance of any kind.  I saw “special treatment” as a weakness and I hated the feeling of needing help.  I craved self-reliance.  If there was even a remote possibility that I could do a task on my own, I had to do it on my own, even if that meant taking twice as long or terribly inconveniencing myself.  I was stubborn.

My disability is a vision impairment.  I’m legally blind due to a genetic condition called oculocutaneous albinism.  While I have a fair amount of usable vision, I have some limitations.  I use assistive technology to read printed materials and access the computer, and I’m not able to drive.  I’ve had several decades to get used to these things and before I had kids, I felt pretty comfortable managing my life.  I had the illusion of being independent.

In my 30s, I became a mother to two amazing children – one is now in preschool and the other is wrapping up third grade.  Here’s a glimpse of what our life looked like a few short months ago: my husband and I both work full-time jobs.  We have an apartment on the outskirts of Chicago where we live in a community that’s diverse, walkable and alive with businesses, restaurants and bars.  Our youngest kid goes to preschool at a daycare center at my work.  He and I are pros at traveling on public transit or via rideshares.  I used to get a secret joy every day when I went down to pick him up at daycare, strap him into his car seat or stroller and zip off to pick up my daughter at her after-school program.  It made me feel like every other mom to be able to do these things, even if I did have to do them a little differently.  Still, nondisabled parents will never understand the sense of accomplishment I’d enjoy when I was able to independently do the things that they do.  The sense of pride comes on a dopamine rush, like sneaking into a movie theatre or cracking a combination lock.  I had the sweet illusion of being self-sufficient as a mother.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit my state in early March.  That’s when life came to a grinding halt.  Schools, restaurants, playgrounds, libraries all closed.  Public transit and rideshare services suddenly became quite scary.  As an essential worker at a healthcare facility, my options to be home with my kids were limited.  I was blessed to have a boss who did his best to offer flexibility and support, but there was still the ever-present pressure to get to work – and how to get there.  I wasn’t comfortable with the risk of taking the bus or an Uber to work and reluctantly accepted help from my husband, who started driving me in to work.  I felt like a failure.  There I was, a grown woman with a great career who needed to be driven to work like a child.  I saw with disappointment that if I wanted to continue to care for my family and do my job, I had to sacrifice some of this sense of independence.  The days of strapping a kid into the stroller and power-walking off to the grocery store were gone.  Now I rely mostly on grocery delivery services, another ego blow (despite the undeniable convenience).

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve thought about this a lot (because what else is there to do during quarantine but think?).  I see now that I’ve never been truly independent.  None of us are.  Simply because I don’t have to utter those dreaded words, “Can you help me out?” doesn’t mean I’m winning the battle for independence.

But I think if there’s a revelation that we’ve all come upon during this pandemic it’s that no one is self-reliant.  We all depend on others to live our lives.  And that’s not a sign of weakness.  On the contrary, it’s these connections with others that enrich our lives with meaning and unpredictability.  I’m working on making peace with that.  As we gradually start to see open signs light up and neighbors tentatively stepping back into the world, I’m going to be looking for these little connections.  The barista who makes the perfect latte, the bus driver who empowers me to get to work, the utility worker who ensures that the crosswalk sign functions at the busy intersection in front of my hospital, the teachers who care for my kids – I depend on all of them to get through my day.  We all lean on each other.  And it’s a privilege to know that I have people on whom I can depend.

Parenting During Social Distancing for the HoH Parent

by Ellen Levitt (April 2020)

As a veteran New York City public high school teacher, I’ve worked with several HoH (hard of hearing) students, especially at Murry Bergtraum High School in Lower Manhattan, where American Sign Language was a Language offering. Some HoH students had signers who travelled with them from classroom to classroom, others didn’t, but they were a regular presence in my social studies classes in the 1990s. My typical strategy was seating these students within the front row, and I would make eye contact frequently.

When I was a high school student myself, I was in classes with HoH students (and others who had a variety of physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy and legal blindness) at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. Being around students who had different types of physical abilities made all of us more aware of how people adapt and achieve in their own manner.

Recently I interviewed S, who is HoH, a single parent of three school age children, and a Murrow HS graduate like myself (although our years at the school did not overlap). S has been documenting on social media, often humorously, what it’s like to deal with children during the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing. His two daughters are ages 12 and 11, and his son is almost 8 years old.

Online learning, especially when it is the primary form of education, has pros and cons. If the child has regular access to a device, be it a desktop, laptop or pad/notebook, and has reliable internet power, then the situation is certainly workable. Students are getting their assignments online in a few different manners: often they get posted written assignments and email in homework; sometimes they “attend” live or pre-recorded lectures or interactive teleconferences, or watch assignments culled from the web, YouTube or educational websites.

For any parent, there can be difficulties in making sure the child or children are doing their work, understanding the course material, and being disciplined enough to get through material. Add in the different atmosphere, the changes in socializing, and related issues, and it can be difficult. How is it for a family of three, with a parent who is Hard of Hearing, even if the children do not have special needs?

Here are some of S’s thoughts on how the current social distancing limitations have impacted his family life and his children’s education:

1. What are some difficulties you have with getting your kids to do schoolwork and chores under quarantine?

Haven’t really had too many difficulties. They’ve helped out a great deal because we’ve all been home a lot. The main difficulty is getting the kids to stop playing Roblox or Fortnite, or watch YouTube during class. I’ve caught all three doing it, and it’s very frustrating.

2. How does being a parent with HoH impact dealing with teachers and other school staff?

It hasn’t really impacted my interactions with them. Probably because there isn’t much these days! In the past it was all on the phone, and I don’t “do phone” too well because I’m deaf. Now they’re all receptive to text, WhatsApp chats, etc.

3. How would you compare your children’s experiences with school to your own?

I went to school during a time when there wasn’t the internet. The internet didn’t really take off until I got to college, so it was a dramatically different time. My oldest loves doing (schooling) remotely, from her bedroom– in fact, a bit too much!

4. Other thoughts?

It will be interesting to see if any innovations come out of this that are carried over when we lift all this social distancing stuff because of the coronavirus. One thing that I think is overlooked is interactions with fellow classmates. That’s hard to do in a Zoom classroom with 15 other kids. However, my daughters have private chat rooms with their classmates (no teachers) so they can ask for help from classmates if needed. However, it’s not the same as person to person contact.

S has posted on Facebook about what the New York Times has labeled “the parental stress of remote learning” and general disciplining of children now:

“Homeschooling Day 14: Today’s lecture series consists of “No, You Can’t Wear A Balloon Giraffe To Class.

Homeschooling Day 12 Update: Sent kid to office. He threw a temper tantrum because I couldn’t look at the painting he made for me in “class.” I was busy cleaning up the paint that he left all over the chair, the dining room table, and the floor…

Today’s lecture series consists of “Watching YouTube Does Not Count As Homework.”

Homeschooling Day 9 update: Today’s lecture series is entitled, “You Can’t Play Roblox During Recess Because You Already Spend Six Hours A Day on the Laptop In Class and You Want to Spend MORE Time On A Screen?

Homeschooling Day 4: Our homeschool curriculum includes my lecture series entitled “Yes, You Still Have to Brush Your Teeth Even Though We Aren’t Going Anywhere.” Also, when you look around for the math teacher and then realize…you’re the math teacher.

Homeschooling Day 3 Mini Update: Had to suspend a kid for dress code violation (wore pajamas)

Homeschooling Day 3: Two students suspended for fighting. Teacher fired for drinking on the job.

Homeschooling Day 2: Trying to see if I can get kids transferred out of my class,

Survived Day 1 of Homeschooling. Barely. Lol. Playing Rummikub with the kids!

It is also tiring and challenging for S to do his own work (which is now online) while juggling his kids’ schooltime. This is parental engagement amped up ever stronger. The roles include not only teacher but counselor, cafeteria worker, technical support and more.

S and all other parents are concerned about their children maintaining their studies and not falling behind (or not too much). The short term and long term impacts will no doubt be analyzed in the months and years to come.