The Bishop’s E-pistle: Parenting in the Time of COVID

Every morning at 8:00 a.m., my son’s assignments for the day become available. My job is to go through and make a list of the day’s work, highlighting which platform each assignment is on (Google Classroom, Seesaw, Zoom, various math websites, the school website, or plain old email). I hand off the list to him and to his dad or his caregiver, and then I get to work. His dad is in charge of English; I’m in charge of math; and we tag team to make sure that the rest of the work is actually done and submitted (there’s always some last click of a button without which the whole assignment is moot).

Approaching Mother’s Day this weekend, I want to salute all the parents who are juggling work and teaching and caregiving while staying at home. I am finding this season of our lives exhausting–and I have the privilege of other adults in my son’s life and the fact that he is old enough to do a lot of things on his own.

I also want to salute teachers, who are learning all those new learning platforms even as we do. (I admit that in learning all the platforms I feel much more like a student than a teacher myself!). God bless you for the way you are loving and teaching under challenging circumstances.

As tiring as it is, there is also a richness to spending more time with my child. Fifth grade is fun; and it is enlightening for me to know so much more about where he excels and where he struggles. Loss and blessing are all tied up together, as is so often the case.

I pray especially for those children whose parents are not able to stay home from work to supervise; or who do not have the skills or technology to continue their learning. I pray for parents who have to give up work to care for their children; and for those who are doing this alone and unsupported.

God, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.