Let’s start with the real. If you’re spent on real stuff, there are music and parenting bits down below.
I want to acknowledge there are big hurts happening to so many of my friends right now as inequity deepens. And on all my social media, friends who have 45 supporters in their friend and family groups are being gleefully trolled to the moon and back by their loved ones. It’s painful to watch cruelty at play.
Our top leadership is disinterested in lateralization of power and quite frankly, lives in a world where inequity is profitable. So, on top of the numbness that comes from not being able to get ahold of my friend Angie, who lives on Zoom now, we have to look at The AntiLorax in Chief attempting to perform his way through a global crisis. (BTW, “Angie” is not a pseudonym, but Angie is *Everyone right now. I hope you’re taking breaks, Angie.)
The HARD STUFF WITH KIDS One of my kiddos said the words, “…when this virus is over…” twice last week. So we had the talk, in which I clarified that:
- The virus will not be over.
- The virus is a part of us now,
- and we are in the middle of learning how to live with it as safely as possible.
- AND! there will be a new, creative and unpredictable normal.
- Wildest imagination, kids! We are resilient.
It’s good to be direct with kids, if you feel grounded and prepared–and by that I mean:
- Are you connected to, and able to speak from your calmest parts?
- Do you know what you want them to leave the discussion understanding?
- Can you serve the most honest, simplest and shortest bites of information, uniquely tailored to your own child’s style, needs and desires?
- Are you ready to discuss more if they want to dive in?
- Are you ready to give them space and the support to process if they shut down?
It is our duty to neither force open an emotional clam, nor leave them to drown in those feelings they’ve clammed up around. Here are some things to consider before you approach these topics (I highly recommend): https://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/what-to-say-during-staylistening/
If you enjoy the neurobiology (you know, the nerd-o-biology?) behind techniques like these: https://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/science-behind-hand-hand-parenting-tool-staylistening/
PARENTING PANDEMIC PRO TIP (It’s a 2 for 1 day!):
- Today, one of my kiddos was anxious about a school notification we’d missed, that resulted in a missed Zoom class. I asked her to manage her anxiety while I finished my breakfast. She didn’t. I reminded her of all the tools she has and to pick one. She didn’t. Take three: I told that child that “I needed her, for the love of all of the Confederated Tribes of everywhere to take responsibility for her anxiety so she would not grow up to be another uselessly anxious white person.” I did. I said that. And my kiddos know what that means, because we’ve talked about the history and present day perpetuation of injustice and violence against Native Americans. It is probably the ONLY time I’ve EVER heard her willingly take deep breaths when prompted to.
- So now, we have Nigel. Nigel, who takes my kids’ crappy attitudes on vacation with him to Scotland. Nigel is Susan’s friend. You can read about Susan here: Meet Susan. Nigel just sits there in a little dish on the windowsill, and when my kid starts to pop off, I simply point at Nigel and wave my hand all around, saying, “sCotLaaaND!!!”
CORONAVIRUS PARENTING CHALLENGE (There will be a tone of sass in this; it’s best to prepare yourselves.)
Do not go onto social media and complain about “the State,” “the District,” “the School,” or “the Teachers.” I know, it’s too late. I’ve been all over that social media and the bitching is bitchin’. You may not know this about me, but in 9th grade I won an award in Keyboarding Class. I am the 9th Grade Female Typist of the Year 1990.
So…let me be the leader of our revolution. It’s time to put on your best typist skills and send a couple sentences to the right people. Here’s the challenge: Use the exact number of words you used in your last online gripe or in real life rant and shape it into something you can send to your kiddos’ teacher(s).
It may sound like this, “Dear Mrs. Elizabeth Halsey, I know everyone’s doing their best right now. I know we’re all going to figure it out as we go. Last night, I observed Nigel working on schoolwork from 9 am until 6:47 pm, and I don’t think this will be sustainable. I want you to know what it’s looking like from our end and maybe we can figure this out together. Also, this math is fucked. Sincerely, Susan.”
If they don’t know, they can’t send the message back up the telephone game line to “the State” or “the other lurking enemy that we use to perpetuate the idea that we’re helpless victims of a loomy bad guy.” OK, even I know when I’m taking it too far. I know there are real limitations and obstacles. My point is…we have to speak up and let the teachers know what’s going on.
And we can understand teachers were not given much time at all to get their feet beneath them. And some of them are having an acute stress response. And some of them, too, have traumas big or small, grief and mayhem. So expect “triggered responses” sometimes, and prepare some grace, and let’s work together. We’re all a bit shaken. If you write to Mrs. Elizabeth Halsey and get a “Well, Susan I’m doing my fucking best here!” Well, you can always email the principal, with that fierce determination all of us Helicopter parents supposedly have gallons and gallons of. Whop whop whop whop whop.
Pickathon, the beloved music festival in Happy Valley, Oregon, is cancelled–but they are trying to take care of their musicians and patrons.
“A Concert A Day started April 8, an initiative to help musicians and artist communities through the Recording Academy’s MUSICARES® organization. During this time of hardship, with so many artists unable to tour and so many people stuck at home, we’re opening our vaults to premiere one full concert a day for 60 days, streaming for free via The Recording Academy’s Facebook page, Amazon Music’s Twitch channel, and on YouTube as part of #StayHome #WithMe.
All donations received will go to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Every day at 1:00PM (PDT) they will premiere a full set from Pickathon’s past with unprecedented direct support from the Recording Academy, Amazon Music, and YouTube. Each concert will remain up for only 3 days before being taken down.”
Links to listen at: https://pickathon.com/2020/04/acad/
That’s all I have for today, folx. I’ll do one more of these, making #10 The End. Talk soon, xo.