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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Sunkissed grace...

School starts on Monday, at least in my little corner of the world. Things are purchased, ordered, organized, and prepared. The boy first, the girl the following day. While the boxes are checked and t's are crossed, it is hard to get excited about the first day of school. I will not belabor COVID and the delta variant; my sorority days have come in handy with my Greek alphabet knowledge and variants to come. My sorority days however did not prepare me for a pandemic; perhaps my immune system was boosted slightly from questionable actives. Anyway, how does one get excited when it seems that the last 17 months have been this tilt-o-whirl of chaos. You spin, I spin, we all spin. I just wanna get off the damn ride, send my kids off to school next week, and wish them well. I don't want to worry about whether the school year will be completed in person and virus free; I wont bother to wish for normalcy. I'm just hoping my children wont become educational hostages in our playroom.

My son has not been in a school building since March 2020; our routine craving, familiarity loving, transition resisting, sensory overloaded, 3rd grader to be. These past 17 months have been tough on him, my husband, and myself. Everyday has been a battle of some sorts. My husband has worked out of the home since before COVID made it fashionable. He is likely planning a party for Wednesday when the three of us will be out of the house ALL DAY. Good Lord wiling. My husband may actually attempt a move to Guam should schools shut down again. Perhaps I should stock up on postcards for us to exchange, better to be prepared.

We've been at the beach the past seven days. A final summer hurrah. A place for everyone's excitement and anxiety to be minimized instead of sitting at home waiting for August 23rd to make its debut. I also decided to roll my vacation over into the beginning of next week. My son is a wild card. I wanted to be able to focus solely on his reentry and not have competing priorities at work. I wanted to be available for phone calls from his school and any unexpected curveballs. I am far from a helicopter parent, just a mom who has minimal faith in the county school system at the moment. Navigating the IEP world with COVID restrictions is painful. I'm a bit of a mama bear and my husband and I are quite certain my name is on a list somewhere already. This doesn't bother me; I'm not looking for besties. I will always be advocating for my child and his needs. He will become the best version of himself.

This constant state of "what ifs" is exhausting. Yes, yes, I appreciate the whole concept of figuring out things as they come however, our life doesn't subscribe to that notion. I always have to be 37 steps ahead. What is our contingency plan? What will impact our son the least? What will cause the minimal amount of damage? I am fully aware of the fact that there are more put together parents of special needs children. Those who are able to navigate life with the grace of a classically trained ballerina.

When you look up what makes a person graceful, "unruffled," "deal with things without breaking a step," "inner calmness," and "poise," it honestly makes me feel worse about myself in more areas of life outside of parenting in particular at work. I can assure you I am not searching for compliments or praise. I am aware of my faults and room for growth. I am also aware of my strengths and talents. At the end of the day we are all our own worse enemies. I have been working through things, dealing with things that I know have brought our the worst in me. Things that will be kept quiet, for now.

It is a rainy-ish day at the beach, I am sitting here writing watching the surf while the sun is slowly beginning to make an appearance. Reflecting on the irony of the red warning signs currently guarding the waters. The children are having some much needed down time and the puppy taking her afternoon nap guarding her much beloved dragon chew toy. The scents of sunscreen and damp beach wood wafting through the air; a sunkissed scene of normalcy.

While I truly feel like i have some mental bandwidth at the moment, again a myriad of reason, I am hoping to hold on to that feeling even after we return home from the land of tan lines and flip flops. Personally, I will have a challenging few weeks ahead of me. Trying to get everything aligned to make these weeks smooth and successful. Working towards navigating these scenarios as skillfully as a helmsman. I know I am not the only person in the village who has these thoughts or feelings. Somedays I know I am more in step with Gilligan than the Captain. I never want to be Captain status all the time. I am not afraid of failure. Without failure there can not be growth. I can only hope we don't end up on a deserted island.

So we cast off to a new school year and lots of new and exciting challenges ahead. The four of us will be working towards different opportunities and strengthening our grace.

“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. '” Jeremiah 29:11

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