I cannot tell you how many times in any given day that my nine (almost 10- she never fails to remind me of that) year old says those words. Generally, I respond by telling her not to say that. Sometimes I remind her that it could be worse.
But you know what?
In light of current events, I am starting to see that sometimes all there is to say is that it sucks. There are times when her complaints are more valid than I give her credit for. There are circumstances where there is no better description of the circumstances other than they simply suck.
It’s okay to say this sucks!
Turn on the TV and watch the news, listen to the radio, get on social media- it is all dominated by talk about COVID-19. It feels palpable and inescapable. There are moments where it feels like the whole world is going crazy around us and there is nothing we can do about it. It sucks.
My six year old cried last Thursday when she learned she would be out of school for at least the next month. She is so incredibly sad that she will be away from her teacher, her friends, and her classroom for so long. I don’t even want to tell her I read a report today that the governor said there is a possibility the schools will not be back in session this school year. Anytime we discuss the virus she worries that she will get it or that her Dad and I will or her grandparents and we won’t get better. Nothing I say can make her feel better about it. It is scary for adults and frightening to a child. It sucks.
COVID-19 whether we want it to or not has intertwined itself in our lives from the major parts right on down to every single day elements. It is here to stay with us for a while. It sucks.
Grocery shopping has been a bit more stressful. I feel for the employees at the store who have looked battle-worn and weary while stocking the shelves and getting all kinds of grief for what they don’t have. I understand supply and demand and try not to get too frustrated by what I can’t find. But, seriously, who is buying ALL the ramen?
Schools are closed now and who knows how long they will remain that way. As a parent, I get to put on another hat and be a teacher on top of all the other hats I wear each day. I firmly believe parents are a child’s first teacher, but I am not cut out to teach fourth-grade math. I am so overwhelmed already with how I will make this work and I have not even started yet! I tip my hat to the classroom teachers. They do a phenomenal job each day of shaping our children’s minds. It sucks that they have to be away from their students for what could perhaps be the rest of this school year without even a chance to say goodbye.
We are trying to be responsible humans and limit where we go and who we see. With a husband and four children who are used to a very active on the go lifestyle, it won’t be long until the cabin fever sets in. I am going to create a change jar for every time I hear “I’m bored,” over the next few weeks. I am certain I will be able to fund a nice night out by the time all is said and done when I consider my family’s past behavior. But, it still sucks.
My parents are in their 60’s and have health factors that put them into higher-risk categories. My mom told me yesterday it makes her nervous to leave her house. Not only does this worry me, but now it adds to the stress of considering if we visit them or stay away. My kids spend a lot of time with them on a regular basis. It will be awful to separate them for an extended period of time. This sucks.
Then I think about life outside of my own home.
It weighs heavy on my heart knowing that there are parents out there who are scrambling to figure out a care situation for their school-age children.
It scares me to know that there are children whose school is their safe place. They are potentially now without food, warmth, and someone who really cares about them.
I can feel the anxiety of my family, friends, and neighbors who are facing an uncertain length of time without a paycheck due to closures or furloughs that are part of precautionary measures to combat COVID-19. I can imagine the stress and worry it is causing. There is a legitimate reason for them to panic. It is scary to not know where the money will come from to attend to basic needs.
I can even understand the disappointment of all the travel plans and vacation cancellations due to this pandemic. I have a friend that has been saving for six years to take her family to Disney World. This was to be her first trip there too. Then the parks closed and their dream trip is off. They hope to reschedule and go at a later date.
All these things suck.
The interruption to life as we know it sucks.
Then I take a step back and I think about all of the people who have contracted COVID-19. I think of the ones who haven’t recovered yet and the ones who never will. That really, really, really sucks. There is no other way to say it. It sucks. It makes all the other worries seem so small.
But, you know what?
It all still sucks. These are still valid complaints about our lives and the world around us right now.
The illness, the death, the quarantines, the travel bans, the closures, the cancellations, the panic, the uncertainty, the LACK OF RAMEN- all these things just SUCK!
It’s okay to say it sucks.
I will still try to find the silver lining in the days ahead. Yes, even when I am listening to my daughter whine about the lack of ramen. It is her opinion that it is the greatest meal ever. This pandemic will pass. We will all find our way through it. But, in the meantime, it sucks and it is okay to feel that way. It. Sucks.