Hey friends! Doesn’t it seem like summer just started? Kids are already either back at school or will be soon. Or, should I say you’ll be virtual? In school? Hybrid? Whew, I’m not in school and it gives me a headache just hearing about all the school stuff going on right now. It’s times like this that make us all (whether we have kids in school or not) appreciate the teachers and parents. I have a couple friends who are teachers, and hearing what they have to do this year is mind-blowing. If that’s you—my hat’s off to you. If you’re a parent trying to navigate the demands that seem to keep changing–my hat’s off to you. There are so many factors that seem to play into this. I mean, it’s hard enough being a kid and having your first day at school…now, you have all of this other stuff going on. I am in no place to give any advice on how to navigate this, other than to say: give yourself grace! Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, janitor at the school, we see you and hear you! You are all in our thoughts and prayers!
I love summer so much, so whenever I started back at school, I dreaded it. I had a break during summer from getting beat up, thrown down flights of stairs, teased, told to kill myself. I never knew what I would be in store for when I went back to school. Would the kids that bullied me before, still bully me? Would there maybe be a new kid in our class that maybe would want to be my friend? Would I be able to enjoy anything about school? I woke up feeling anxious, and I went to bed feeling anxious. For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted someone to stand up for me. I got so tired of doing it myself. Do you ever feel like that? Yes, it’s true that the most important thing is to be able to stand up for yourself, but sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we just want someone to step in and say “I got this. You can rest now.” I heard someone last week say something that hit me: “Be with people who stand up for you, not people you have to stand up to.” Now, that’s a word!
Since the school year is just starting, I wanted to encourage you kids to go easy on the others. Maybe go out of your way to include someone in a conversation or group. Initiate a welcome conversation with the new kid. Ask someone how they’re doing. You can make someone’s day or break someone’s day. It’s your choice.
This is a short post, but I hope you’re all doing well, staying safe and healthy. Reach out to me anytime you need, friends! Be kind.
What I’m listening to:
“Who Am I To Say,” Justin Townes Earle
“Rogers Park,” Justin Townes Earle