Life was not meant to be easy…but take courage: it can be delightful.” – George Bernard Shaw

Often when I drop my daughter and our neighbor to school in the mornings, I see a man standing at the fence watching his child. He’s dropped his child off, they’ve run into the playground to stand in line before the teachers bring the kids in and the man stands there, sometimes watching, sometimes waving.

It’s an image that affects me deeply. Is he worried about the child being bullied? Or just sending him his love? Is he struggling with the separation? Whatever it is, it feels like the man is sending out his personal bubble of protection to encompass the child from afar.

And I understand it because sending my daughter to first grade in these pandemic conditions meant I had to send her off to a building that I’d never been inside of and to a teacher that I’ve met in-person once. It’s a little like sending her off to a black hole every day and then just being so thankful that she comes back out.

But that all changed last week when they finally processed my volunteer application and called me last minute because they needed help with lunch. The school has set up lunch tables outside and rotations so they can eat sufficiently spread out all facing one direction. They have hand sanitizer protocols and wipe down procedures and the kids seem to handle all these rules with such aplomb.

It felt like such a luxury to be with my child as she was playing in the playground, eating lunch and also to be able to chat with her friends. I met Will, the boy I wrote about in the COVID crush post. [He also lines up on heart number 15 next to my daughter and told her a few weeks ago that he has a crush on her.] He came up to me during the lunch service and also told me he had a crush on her. He was adorable!

In the middle of the seating our 3rd rotation out of 4, the loud speaker went off with a huge clang and announced that everyone needed to “shelter in place.” Kids had to pack up their lunches and evacuate the playground. Without any clear understanding of why, we helped these 2nd and 3rd graders return to their classrooms in a hurry.

[Eventually it was explained there was a tornado warning which is beyond rare in Seattle. Then the news came in that was intended for an area about 30 miles west of us. It was too late to get the kids back out to the lunch area so we just supported them eating in their classrooms.]

The man at the fence has come to symbolize uncertainty for me. The uncertainty that has been so acute in this pandemic era when we haven’t had access to check on our loved ones – whether they be elderly, sick, kids or even our pets as we sit outside the vet clinic. All that worry about how we can keep them safe when we can’t be involved in their care.

Finally getting to see the inside of the school helped resolve some of my uncertainty. Strangely it was the emergency that made me feel better most of all. I worked arm in arm with much of the school staff and got to see the people that make school happen every day. It was an honor and wonder to see their dedication, resourcefulness and care. I hope one day I can tell that to the man at the fence.

(featured image photo from Pexels)

7 thoughts on “Uncertainty

  1. I can relate to that man in the fence. The worry never goes away. It’s great you got to see a bit of the inner workings of the school through volunteering and hopefully it further puts your mind at ease. And how lovely you got to meet your future son in law!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay, I just burst out laughing with the future son-in-law thing! Funny!

      Yes, the worry doesn’t go away. That’s the problem with having kids – it’s like letting your heart wander around outside your body. For the record, that’s why I picked up the phone when I saw the school number was calling me — because I thought something was wrong with my daughter. Thankfully it was just them needing lunch help. 🙂

      Have a great Monday, Ab!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thankfully it was just lunch help needed.

        Little does Will know but his future mother in law is keeping a close eye on him now. 😆 Jokes aside, enjoy these precious moments.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! But from what I can tell, I think we’ve just about all suffered from a lot of uncertainty in this time. My mom was planning a trip to see her sister – and then faced whether or not the senior housing center would allow her inside after they’d discovered a COVID case. Or my local veterinarians who are trying to take care of our pets and finding themselves sometimes facing aggressive parents of furry little ones. May we all figure out how to face uncertainty…

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You gave me a tinge of ‘home-sickness Wynne. As an educator, I realize how blessed I was to attend school with my own children and others’ each day. Their exuberant joy for life is contagious, making me wonder if perhaps ‘adulthood’ is over-rated 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m delighted to know you were an educator. Somehow I’m not surprised. Yes, I’m sure you are right that adulthood is over-rated! Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting!


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