April 20, 2021.
Exactly one year ago today, I was sitting at my kitchen bar attempting to virtually school three of my children while tending to my own schoolwork.
Exactly one year ago today, the parks had chains at the entrances and plastic over the playground equipment, prohibiting anyone from entry.
Exactly one year ago today, I had a newborn baby that my family members had not seen in six weeks, and was at the tail end of several birthdays in my immediate family, all spent without the hoopla of visitors, gifts and cakes.
Exactly one year ago today, the second half of a very tiresome and trying year was still ahead of us, and it would involve many canceled gatherings, news of sickness, school and dance class quarantines for my girls and a whole lot of worry and fear.
Exactly one year ago today, I was searching for toilet paper like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure.
Today, however, my house is quiet. All four of my children are at school. I attended a field trip with my kindergarten student last week and yesterday her class hatched baby chicks in an incubator.
My girls are rehearsing for their dance recital, my husband is still enjoying working from home, and I am looking forward to performing in an outdoor show this summer.
We can eat dinner at a restaurant, go to the movies, attend graduation ceremonies and plan events.
The things of luxury that many of us took for granted are back within reach.
But the struggle is not over.
This semester was hard.
Not like “oh I have so much work” hard, but more like “I can’t bear to look at another assignment because my brain stopped working 6 weeks ago and I can’t learn this material online and I really don’t know if I want to be a college student” hard.
The pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health. It has robbed some us of the carefree college student experience, and been a nagging voice of discouragement as we attempted to do what, at times, seemed impossible.
But, the end of the semester is here. In a mere matter of days, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Some will graduate and move on from SRU and others may take a class or two over the summer, but Spring 2021 will come to an end. The work and the sleepless nights will cease, and no matter your grades or how you feel you did, I assure you that you did your best.
Even if you think you could have done better, you did what you could with the hand you were dealt.
And if you will be a student in the fall, I feel the reward of a more “normal” year is on it’s way.
Enjoy your summer, enjoy your friends and family. Take in and savor the normalcy that you can experience that you could not last summer.
Take time to tend to yourself and your needs and build yourself back up, if you’re feeling down.
And we will hopefully all see (like, as in person) each other in the fall.
Cheers to a job well done, to all of you.
Oh, and according to an article posted in the Wall Street Journal this week, Americans FINALLY have enough toilet paper…..