The alarm rings and I stare at the window and check if sunlight is beaming already? Sometimes it is a customary 2:30 am wake and many times it is 6:00 am, the day is beginning wakeup time. I check my son’s room and start the time to wake up routine. You know the what, the huh, and all of the disbelief sounds a 10-year-old can make. A few minutes later it is morning routine in full force, checking everyone has everything that is necessary to make it a successful day. From time to time pack your water bottle, take an extra mask and grab a granola bar. The routine is on autopilot for years, drop off and zoom to work: seeing two school communities in a span of an hour!
Then one day the cape was hung. Unexpected as the rain that pours in the sunshine. Be a parent full time, what? Yes, another what, with a side of disbelief, as unknown territory and overwhelm is digested in every inch of my body. The statement I once read, change is not easy, now appearing and staring at me straight in the eye. Do you know who else is staring? My son. With a big grin, as he hears me note; we are walking to school today.
Perhaps the biggest millionaire walk I have seen from a 10-year-old! Backpack and school pass on hand we wait as each student’s temperature is taken and each scan code passes. My analytical brain is on, just like any other day around this time, preparing for any complex problem solving that will peek thru the day, at the school, I serve 9 miles away. The world of active school parents amazes me, parent drop off surpasses the 88% rate, with some nannies hired to assist the morning drop off for the pandemic protocols in place. By day three, I commit to leaning in to be as present as can be during parent drop-off, slowing down the experience of awe by sharing a newspaper read with my son on the 10-minute line wait. As the day goes by the school staff who has seen my family morning routine for over 2000 days lean into mom is not zooming off to the freeway. With every school angle, I see comes the vibrant reminder of resilience every school member has endured in the last 15 months.
I see parent leaders selling school pride items, posters and balloons hanging to congratulate the graduating class. Even the chief school leader, aka the principal, receives a lovely dinner organized by
parents. Let me not forget the dog that gets walked by the 5th-grade student, at 7:45 am, give and take plus or minus three minutes. The sense of responsibility rings loud. The sense of community grief lessens as mask mandates are coming to an end and a glimpse of summer with friends and family approaches.
A newfound awareness, so rich I refer to it as the upgrade of thinking, contributing and living. Intention keeps knocking at my door, in alignment with the millions of working parents as we continue to carry out our various daily roles. To be a parent brings out the highest level of perseverance, I have ever experienced. I look forward to taking this upgrade into the positive ripples of school community impacts, leading alongside and rebuilding our schools. One day at a time.