Dear Parents and Guardians,
It has been a few weeks since I wrote, and my heartfelt thanks to all of you for generously taking the time to respond. I was thrilled to see your names in my inbox! Even more delightful was to reconnect, and receive news about what is happening on your side of the world.
In the previous letter, I promised to share ideas to help you with your child’s literacy growth. However, like a driver who decides to take a detour in favor of a better route, I changed my mind to make this particular correspondence about YOU—the child care providers. By making yourself a priority and adopting a proactive stance with respect to self-care, you can function more optimally to look after your loved ones.
Being in quarantine provides a sense of security, because it reduces exposure to external hazards. For some, it allows the opportunity to spend more time with family. On the other hand, it can also be anxiety provoking. A prolonged shutdown has led to reduction or even loss of livelihoods, thus rendering many financially and emotionally vulnerable. Relationships are strained. Moreso in close quarters.
Given that we do not always have control over events and people around us, we need to self-advocate and be our own best friend. My hope is for us to be able to reliably fortify ourselves with matters spiritual, physical, mental, social, and emotional. You alone can determine what these self-care activities would be for yourselves. For me, it has been trying to be more intentional about praying, practicing yoga, eating clean, keeping a journal of things I am grateful for, meditating (thank you, Headspace!), cooking, playing the piano, caring for a pooch, reading for both learning and pleasure, and Zooming to catch up with family and friends. That literacy happens to be inextricably woven into these undertakings is testament to its understated yet empowering and life-giving nature.
Without much access to things and experiences other than the bare essentials, I invite you to join me in finding joy in life’s simplest pleasures. Ironically, it is in letting go and having less that we are enriched. Unfettered by life’s clutter, we gain clarity and reclaim our peace.
I look forward to chatting with you again. May you and your family continue to keep safe and healthy.
Your ally in life, learning, and literacy,