Someone once said that brave people are those who have no fear and that courage is a physical thing engraved in people’s hearts. But bravery is not the absence of fear. It is a triumph over fear.
I have come to Phoenix at the beginning of December. As a Humphrey Fellow, ready to conquer the world! And I brought my six-year-old with me! Yes, a six-year-old boy!
December was easy. Winter break, getting to know Phoenix, and meeting new people. Online. America is so different in the COVID era. Everything is online!
Though, I have slept-in longer than ever, tried new food, liked it and disliked some, and enjoyed new culture. And so has my son! And then the school started!!!
New language, new friends, zooming lesson, my courses, and two of us alone. It doesn’t sound bad at all.
Well, roller coasters sound also fun. But they are not!
On the first day of school, my son had to zoom with the teacher and his new friends. He has never zoomed in before and he doesn’t know the language well. But mummy is there. Having her class. The first one. Should she email the professor and excuse herself from the first lesson, after she came miles and miles away, as one of those who earn to be here?!
Well, I have zoomed in on both classes. After two hours I didn’t know where I am, who has what for homework nor should I zoom in again tomorrow, or is this the end of the world!?!
A second day, similar. But we got an email that he can go to school, in person, and zoom from there. And have an assistant who can help him. God bless America.
On the third day, we had to be in school at 8 when children can enter school with all precautions and measurements. I had a zoom class at 8 too. Coincidence!
He goes in, I zoom from my phone, walking down the Phoenix streets and avenues, until I reach the Cronkite building. And did I tell you that school is just a mile away, but we walk there for 40 minutes, with me, every tenth step, wanting to jump in front of a driving car because he cannot walk, he cannot go to school, his leg hurts or he is just so sad…
There are some other challenging things… like, how to pick him up from school when I have the class at exactly that time! And imagine, there are no buses nor pickups like there were before COVID when he could be driven to Childcare or home!
I have even thought of buying a car. In earlier years, that was a good investment. And pretty cheap. COVID era has brought many new circumstances change, as well as the prices of the used cars.
I have thought of a bike, but I should buy a helmet, and a child seat, and a good bike, because I am driving a kid on it. So, it ended up almost like a used car. Then roller blades. Oh, when I just remember my youth. But where to put a kid?!?
Longboard? Yes, I have always wanted that California dream to start, but with my big bones and a six-year-old on my head or shoulders, I guess, it even looks weird saying it. Well, not to say every stupid thing I had in mind…I eventually called Uber or when the schedule is hectic I would just sit in front of the street and pretend I am a ficus!
I am joking.
The great thing is that the school is amazing and helpful and that his teacher’s energy lifts you just talking to her. As well as all the others in that school. And my program…well, I am here to succeed. I don’t see other options. So, I manage it all.
And yes, we survived our first month. I have had several breakdowns, and probably lost many years of my life in the future, but brave ones are those who try!
So, apart from the three courses I have at Cronkite school, and four certificate courses I am taking with Lodestar, I have math, English, STEM, Art, PE, Spanish, and some of those amazing first-grade courses that have challenged me to make re-arrangements in my plans and adapt them to my possibilities. And those who know me, also know that I haven’t changed the fifth gear for more than 15 years now!
Well, now I have. I am in the 6th. New model, new speed!
But life isn’t always that hectic. Sometimes, after only one or two breakdowns a day, we go for ice cream or find a pizza hut and enjoy the sun. After so much homework, we kinda deserve it. He especially. Because, while I am parenting my head out, he is the brave one. He changed his life for 360 degrees and still smiles, and hugs, and kisses the best. And every night, before he falls asleep, he says: ‘Mom, I love you!’’
After his breathing calms, and my tired thoughts find the right compartments in my brain, I just wish for a lesser crazy day tomorrow. And am thankful for everything I have and where I am now.
And whenever I feel I cannot go further, some brownish, lovely eyes tell me otherwise. And then I push harder.
Because the brave are those who know that the fear, hard time, and sacrifice will come around, but still push towards it.
And that is something I want him to know.
To push out the boundaries and lead towards success. Because we can do it!
Yes, baby, we can!