Each morning when I stare at the large calendar in my kitchen it reminds me that the summer is more than half way over. I feel like time is slipping through my fingers, and I cannot stop it. Usually I look forward to going to my to the classroom to teach during this time in the summer. I start reflecting on ways I want to change my classroom around and how I will tweak an upcoming lesson. This year however I am just filled with ‘what ifs.’
What if my second grade daughter walks across her classroom maskless to whisper a secret to a friend while her teacher is not looking? What if my sixth grade son takes his mask off while waiting to be picked up after school and leans in close to a friend to look at their device? What if I cannot keep my students safe from the virus? What if I cannot teach effectively while wearing a mask and shield and being physically distant from my students? These are just a few ‘what ifs that go through my mind on a daily basis.
My ‘what ifs’ even have invade my subconscious. Last night I had a dream I was in a crowded staff meeting when I realize that I am the only one not wearing a mask. I frantically look for my mask to no avail. I begin to panic just knowing I am infecting my team. I wake up relieved that it was just a dream. Then new ‘what ifs’ occupied my time for the next hour until I saw sunlight gently creep through my window.
More ‘what ifs’ have kept me distracted throughout the day. My dog, Molly, reminded me with a loud whine she needed to be taken outside. I opened the door and followed her out into the yard. The summer heat consumed us both. Molly quickly ran and sat in the shade. She then looked up to the sky. I follow her lead and looked at the tallest branches from the trees that were sheltering her from the heat. The green leaves looked like lace placed against a blue background. Just as I was admiring the patterns, a gust of wind blew through the branches changing the intricate pattern. It was as if the wind was like time passing by and making changes. I continued to watch the beautiful movements the leaves made as the breeze invisibly blew past the leaves, and I thought “what if” everything will be alright.