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It if makes your heart pound, write it out.

“The thing you are most afraid to write.  Write that”

EFP-033

Most of you don’t know this, but I broke my leg when I was just a little babe.  The story goes something like….. I was at daycare and somehow a toy box fell down on me and it broke my little femur.  I was in a “body cast” for months – meaning both of my legs were casted all the way up to my waist.  My mom swears that’s how I got all of my upper body strength because I had to adapt, and learned to get around by using only my arms to crawl and scoot.  (I could go on a tangent here about how important cross-crawling is, or another tangent on the amazing ability of the body to adapt to physical stressors, but that’s not what this post is about, so I’ll skip that for now). ;)

 

Now, keep in mind, I was under the age of 1 when this accident happened, so I clearly don’t remember it at all.  Hell, I might even be inaccurately recalling the details that I was told so long ago, because I haven’t asked my mom about that incident for a very long time, and it wasn’t ever something we happily reminisced about. During the few times we’ve discussed it, I asked my mom if I could see a picture of what I looked like with that cast on, just so that I could see what I went through…..but she doesn’t really have any pictures to show me.  When I asked her why, she simply said, “well honey, because that wasn’t a happy time of your life that I wanted you to look back on and remember.  I didn’t want a bunch of pictures of you hurting”.  Wow, if those weren’t some words of wisdom right there.  **Also, this was back in 1986 before the photo-frenzy life that we live in now – remember this was when we had to use actual FILM to take pictures, and then get the film developed, and then store the photos in photo albums?!  Yeah, so mom’s weren’t taking millions of photos of everyday life back then either.**

 

The point of sharing this story with you isn’t just to make you realize how wise and loving my mom is, but that’s obviously part of it too <3, it’s because I feel the EXACT same way about masking our kids up in 2020.  Stay with me here, but I feel like I could use the exact same messaging my mom told me about not taking pictures of me with my massive, ugly body cast back in 1986.

 

I don’t think it’s cute. I don’t accept it as being “normal” or “selfless”.  I don’t want memories or pictures of my kids being forced to wear masks ALL DAY LONG while attending school.  I don’t accept that it’s ok, that it’s “not forever, just for now”…..because we don’t know how long “for now” even is.  Or what magical solution or scientific study has to be found for the “for now” to end.  When all of the parents and teachers were shouting, “WE NEED TO GET OUR KIDS BACK INTO THE CLASSROOM AND RESTORE THEIR EDUCATION” – this wasn’t at all what we had in mind.  I feel like I backed into a corner with nowhere to go.  But I still have a voice.  And I still choose to use it.

 

Here’s what school looks like for my kids (5 & 7) this year.  They are being forced to wear masks, all day M-F while on the school grounds.  They get to take them off to eat (as long as they are at least 6 feet apart from their friends), and they can take them off for “breathing breaks” only if they are running hard enough to need a “breathing break” while at recess.  There will be NO singing in music class at school, whatsoever, unless they can be outside and at least 20 FEET apart from each other (say goodbye to Christmas Programs, which are easily one of my favorite parts of the school year).  We, as parents, are not allowed to write hand-written notes to our teachers (you know, because COVID lives on those papers).  We can never enter the school building.  Our kids are not allowed to celebrate birthday parties in their classrooms this year.  They are required to use hand sanitizer in enormous amounts.  The cleaners in the school are so potent that they even warn on the bottle – “Don’t allow this to touch your skin”….except our teachers and kids and janitors will be practically bathing in it.  We have to scan our child’s individual QR code every morning to report whether they are “healthy enough for school” or not.  Lunch boxes are highly discouraged, they want everything to be disposable.  Kids are required (yes, even kindergarteners) to keep their masks on in the bathroom, yes even while they are wiping their bottoms (think about the disaster that will be for 5 year olds)!  I could probably go on, but you get the picture.  THIS IS NOT SCHOOL.

 

I was under the understanding that the reason we were offering virtual school this year was for the high-risk, the immuno-compromised, and the population who are highly fearful of returning to in-person classrooms.  If we offer the virtual option, then I believe the IN-PERSON option should be as close to normal as possible.  Because at this point, our kids who are physically attending school are literally being punished for it.  My kids are at the age when they will either learn to LOVE school or HATE it.  I’m hoping and praying that they don’t fall into the latter.  The principal is saying it is her utmost duty to “keep our children safe from getting this virus”.  No ma’am, your duty is to educate the children of the future; it is the parent’s job to keep them safe and healthy.  And when, in the history of school, have they ever been able to keep kids from getting sick?  That’s part of childhood.

 

Now before anyone rudely comments that I don’t have to send them, that I have a choice, that I am being selfish, or whatever other nasty comments you have….just stop.  I don’t care.  These are my kids.  They want to go to school – in fact they’ve been begging to go back since March.  They are super excited and I am not going to talk them out of it.  What I am going to do is keep educating, keep speaking up, keep being a voice of truth and light for anyone who doesn’t want to fall down the dark hole of fear.  I am going to do my best to let my kids’ adapt to the stressors they will be put under, and I pray that they handle it with much more grace than I can.

 

I am going to keep them well-adjusted, keep their supplements and nutrition on point, and talk to them every day about what they are feeling and how I can help.  My kids know without a doubt that their masks don’t make them healthy.  They aren’t afraid of germs or the outside world.  We talk about it all the time.  I won’t have them being fearful of their friends, neighbors, teachers, or fresh air!  But for now, they choose to attend school, and we support their decisions.

 

My sincerest ‘thank you’ goes out to the teachers who are bravely showing up for the kids, who still want to teach, who don’t live in fear, and who are ready to make a positive impact in our kids’ lives, even in the darkest of times.  We appreciate you!

But, there will be no pictures of my kids in masks on the first day of school.  Instead, I will take their pictures, like I do every year, showing their gorgeous, brave smiles that make them distinguishable individuals.  Much like my mom, I don’t want them looking back on this time and remembering the complete hell they were living through.  It’s not “just a mask”, and I’m afraid it’s not “just for now”.

EFP-034

 

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Erin Allen says
    Aug 29, 2020 at 12:20 AM

    Amen! It's so refreshing to read your posts, listen to you and Dr. Marley Speak truth, and I love your boldness Dr. Heather. Keep it up! I'm praying for you and your family, and I wish you could still be my family Chiropractor even though we are across the country. ❤️

    • info@livinwellchiro.com says
      Aug 30, 2020 at 4:09 PM

      Ohh Erin - how we miss your smiling face! Thank you for reading and even more for writing such a thoughtful, uplifting comment!! All our best to you out there!

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