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After what seems to be months, I am back! (And to think I was only gone 2 weeks.) Can I just say it feels good writing again! (And for all my analytical readers it feels good typing again.) To anyone reading this, this is not my average travel blog. Since my blogs are all about my journey, I figured I would write about my latest journeys and what the last few weeks have looked like for me and my family.
I took the last 2 weeks off to focus on work since my workload tripled and making sure Leylah was ready as possible to start 3rd grade. I am thankful I recognized the week before she started that I needed to take some days off work and focus all my attention on her and what she needed physically and emotionally.
Leylah went back to school before a lot of other kids went back due to attending a charter school and the school district she is in. As nervous as she was about what this school year would look like, she is learning that she absolutely loves doing school from home. Honestly, in my own bias opinion, she is able to be herself 100% while in class because of that comfort feeling home gives to her. As the parent, I enjoy being able to hear her participate in class and teachers recognizing her for trying her very best. I can also keep up with every activity she does and hears what her schedule will look like for the day. For me as a parent, I feel way more involved with her school even from sitting across the hall in my office.
Now for anyone wondering if the first few days ran as smoothly as it seemed, let me share with you it was not smooth sailing. We were running into system issues like millions of other kids are experiencing starting school from home on day 1. By day 2 of school, I was such an emotional rollercoaster. By 8:30 am that morning I was already on my second meltdown and felt as if I was completely failing as a mom. At one point Leylah started crying with me because of feeling like she was causing all the stress on me. As much as I hate Leylah seeing me like that, I am grateful she did because it was a learning moment for both of us.
After we got our cry out, we talked about the emotions we were feeling and both of us agreed we felt trapped with little answers on how to resolve all the computer issues she was having. So we decided right then that we needed to get out of the house and get breakfast to bring our spirits up and step away from the chaos. BEST DECISION EVER! We went to a local bagel shop and had the best time. We laughed and laughed from playing games like arm wrestling and thumb war while waiting on our food. On the drive home, we talked about how we need to be there for each other and support each other with kind words when we notice something is off in one of us. When we walked back into the house from our time out, we felt refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle anything that came our way. Even if that meant more system issues.
As I am writing this, we are on day 5 of school and the storm seems to be calming. We are getting into a routine and much of this is due to Leylah's amazing teacher. The amount of patience she has with her students is something I think we could all learn from. From day 1, she started creating a safe environment for the kids to feel as normal as possible while ensuring parents feel supported. As soon as Leylah logs into the video conference, her teacher has the kids engaging with each other and allows them to move all around when conducting schoolwork. Just this morning I walked by Leylah's room and saw she was standing in front of her big whiteboard working on math while having the laptop facing her. I mean think about it, Leylah is so used to working on schoolwork while sitting at her desk that she is able to learn her schoolwork in a way she feels comfortable. To say this is the year no one will ever forget is an understatement of the year, but it will be one that could also be changing her future for the better.
This month has been a busy one, but I have found time for us to relax in our own ways. One way we relax is by floating down a river surrounded by friends enjoying the nice breeze and sunny weather. I absolutely love tubing and would consider it one of the most relaxing things to do outdoors. If you have never been, please do a quick Google search for tubing areas in your state/country. For all my local readers, let me share where I have gone tubing and my experiences.
Catawba River in Rock Hill, South Carolina: