A Distant Happy Birthday


Last Monday, March 30th, my third-grader started online learning, following the long, stretched Spring break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

The website collapsed a couple of times adding to my son’s anxiety; he randomly clicked the mouse of the computer like a mad-mad.

I miss my school“, he said, his eyes filling with tears. I didn’t know what to do, so I simply sat next to him and guided him through the day’s assignments. The next morning, I sent an email to his teacher asking if she could send him a message of encouragement. A few minutes later, she invited the entire class to a video call.

Once my son heard his teacher’s voice and saw the faces of a few of his buddies, his face lit up like fireworks. Seeing his smile brought me to tears. Immediately after finishing the call, my son began Tuesday’s tasks without complaining once.

Later in the day, his teacher emailed me and thanked me for the video call suggestion. I can’t speak for her, but I think she was very surprised to see how much her students needed to see her.

The novel coronavirus is an enemy nobody prepared for. Up until the social distancing policies were put in place, American schools had prepared for natural disasters and active shooter situations, but never for an invisible biological threat.

According to data published on April 4th, 2020 by UNESCO, the partial or nationwide school closures in 188 countries around the globe have impacted 91.3% of the school enrolled kids (more than 1.5 billion children.)

Even though there have been school disruptions in the past–in our case caused by severe hurricane seasons in Florida–we the parents and the children always knew the closures were temporary. But this time, it feels like going back to school is as far as wishing for Christmas Day.

Classmates, teachers, co-workers, and workout buddies to name a few, are people who we share parts of our lives with. Perhaps we don’t hang out with them after hours, but everyday we mirror our own humanity in them just with a smile.

My son’s birthday was yesterday, April 7th. His teacher and school friends sang him Happy Birthday from the distance on a crazy Zoom call in the morning, then we ate pizza and cut the cake later in the afternoon.

Although things could have been better, they could have also been worse. Battling for our lives or a loved one’s life at a hospital. So, I counted my blessings, celebrated the day when my beautiful son came into the world, and prayed to God to keep his light shinning.

Thank you for reading and sharing!

Xiomara Spadafora

This post was sponsored by Zellner Insurance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in Good Crazy Woman are the author’s and are not influenced by paid sponsors or advertisers. The author is not responsible for the comments generated in the open forum. All copy rights reserved.

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