I have a lot on my mind. We all do. So here is some of it in a very long (Facebook) post.
First off, I believe that the recommendation to push forward in-person classes for schools until the end of September is absolutely the right thing to do.
I have five kids. Two of them are in school. My sweet little girl had her “normal” kindergarten year cut short in March. Though disappointed for a few days, she showed grace. My little boy is supposed to start kindergarten in a couple of weeks. He won’t have a “normal” start. Though disappointed, he is showing grace.
In normal times, we get frustrated with the status quo, don’t we? We want to mix it up. Be different. Stand out. Go against the flow.
However, when “normal” is stripped from us, as it was earlier this year, we yearn for it. We didn’t mean to take “normal” for granted, but we did. And we would give anything now to return to our beloved “normal.”
But what makes this different? Why is this season so much more frustrating? It’s because our enemy doesn’t care.
COVID-19 doesn’t care about “normal.” COVID-19 doesn’t care that we’re trying to balance work, school, daycare, family, financial struggles, and everything else. COVID-19 doesn’t care about our political views. COVID-19 doesn’t care that some think it’s fake and “no worse than the flu.” COVID-19 doesn’t care that you’re “so over” the pandemic. COVID-19 doesn’t care that you haven’t seen or hugged your grandparents in months. COVID-19 does not care.
And so it seems, neither do we!
We’ve become so selfish that we act like little children throwing tantrums in public places to get back to our “normal.”
We’ve lost the sense of “normal” decency. We had it back in March. We cared about our neighbors. We loved our teachers. We wanted to make sure our families and friends were safe.
But something happened.
We’ve all had “normal” ripped from us and thus, all of us are figuring out how to handle chaos on a daily basis.
But what I know is this:
It’s okay to grieve the loss of “normal.” It’s okay to be disappointed that my child doesn’t get the “normal” first day of school experience. It’s okay to be frustrated about all this. It’s okay to be nervous about our children’s futures … about our futures. It’s okay to not know what’s going to happen.
Pandemics don’t typically last forever. We will return to normal but normal will probably look and feel somewhat different. The future normal may be better than we ever imagined.
But it starts now.
By thinking about and loving those around us. By carrying and absorbing the weight of stress, disappointment, and frustration with our neighbors. By encouraging our kids and trying to model peacefulness for them. By our kids encouraging us.
It may be as simple as reflecting Jesus’ love to people.
Anna Marie Pavy
Anna Marie Johnson Pavy lives in Campbellsville, KY, with her husband E. J. and their five beautiful children, including twin babies! They are Olivia (6), Nazareth (5), Spencer (3), Noah (4 months) and Gideon (4 months). Anna Marie has a Masters Degree in Applied Statistics from the University of Kentucky. From Georgetown University in Washington D. C., she earned her MS in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Anna Marie has recently completed her MBA at Campbellsville University. She is currently the Director of Institutional Research at Campbellsville University.