Giving Grace

 Guest post by Melisa Hayes @MrsHayesfam

I love reading everyone’s perspectives about the pandemic. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We all are concerned about our kids and miss them so much! This pandemic reminds me of a firework that is lit. We wait and wait for something to happen. Sometimes we see the effects instantly and other times we wait so long we think it’s ok to touch it but then it backfires. This is the way I feel when people decide NOT to wear masks or practice social distancing. This post is about me giving grace to teachers, my kiddos, parents, my daughter, and even me.

As a mother and teacher, it’s been extremely difficult! I try to balance my teaching time with my classroom family along with homeschooling my 13-year-old daughter. Some of you may think, she’s 13 how hard can it be? Well for a child with Down Syndrome who loves to say the word, “NO” It’s a tug of war with me pressing pause constantly! LOL

Her work sometimes is modified and other times I recreate it. For example, she had an assignment which was Egyptian vocabulary. It was on Quizlet but it was all text. I knew there was no way I was going to have her do this. So I looked up all the key terms and found pictures for each. Then I added those pics to Piccollage along with the word. It was a picture dictionary. She was doing the work but it was at her level and it was something she could do and feel successful. I was annoyed at the Social Studies teacher for giving her that assignment but then I reflected: We are all in this together. She has a lot on her plate as well and we need to give grace!

I have a family member whose parent works midnights. She is a single parent and emailed me worried. She found out her daughter hasn’t done weeks and weeks of work. She asked what assignments she needed to do and she apologized. She expressed how hard it has been for her daughter as she works. I emailed and said, Don’t worry about any past assignments. If she can do x,y, and z this week she will be caught up. This kiddo and mom are going thru more than I know. Schoolwork should be the least of her worries! I gave grace.

Back to my Abbs:):) Before this pandemic, I attended Abbs IEP meeting and everyone including me agreed to ESY for her. This was an extended school year and I thought it was a great idea! Well, the pandemic hit and I recently found out they were still having ESY but it was digital. I have to be honest, I was horrified. My heart beat faster, I started to sweat and I felt nauseous. Yes, I am a teacher but NOT of my own kid – LOL I knew what I had to do. I gave myself grace and let them know that I respectfully decline the ESY. I knew this would be another tug of war where fireworks would occur daily. I want my summer with my girl to be a happy memorable one. We would definitely work on school but it would be at my own pace and would incorporate the real world. I knew this was the best choice for me, Abbs, and our family! I had to quit feeling guilty and give myself grace!

This is definitely a work in progress and I know I’m not alone but for me, I am working on being more selfless, patient, and empathetic. I am also working on giving grace to others including myself. Hopefully, the fireworks will end soon and we can all try to carry on with the new normal. Whatever that might be…..

You can follow me on Twitter: @MrsHayesfam

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