Tag is exactly adult
2021-04-14My daughter has left our neighborhood less than five times in the past 13 months. I am not exaggerating. Now that the positivity rate in our area is 1.5%, we cautiously allowed my daughter to accompany me on a one mile run. You would have thought I’d taken her to Disney World. She was happier and more relaxed than she’s been in months. But she’s not a runner. She’s a competitive gymnast who hasn’t set foot in a gym in 13 months. She’s trained virtually with a gym in Northern CA and has worked out every single day. But we know it’s not the same. We also know that it’s time to create the team for the next season. It was time to contact her gym. We can keep promising she’s coming back but at what point is it just empty words? After a lot of prayer and internal debate, we texted her coach and said it’s time for her to come back. As you can see, she was initially scared at the idea, but that was quickly replaced by excitement when she found out she is really going back. But I have a pit in my stomach. Is it safe? Her coach isn’t vaccinated. Will my daughter be one of the children who contract it and have dire consequences? Or will her brother if she brings it home? How long can you keep a kid in a bubble? She already missed an entire season. Her mental health is so important, we know going back is going to be so amazing for that. But I am still so worried about the physical. One thing that this year has shown me is that I am an adult. I mean, obviously, I’ve been an adult for 22 years. But this year - protecting not only the safety of my children but my over 65 mom and in-laws. Advocating for the health of my students over politics. It’s like the pandemic has forced me to see that I can’t look to anyone to make adult decisions, it’s me. I’m the decision maker and these decisions can be life and death. I’m the adult. COVID has stripped that security we all had (probably foolishly). I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe again the way I did before this all began. So fingers crossed that my daughter’s journey back into competitive gymnastics is one that we can make safely.
2020-12-03Deshala’s story is one that not only teaches us the struggles of being a foster child turning 21 and aging out of the system during a pandemic but is also a collection item that attempts to fill an archival silence and amplify the voice of a marginalized group. Her story exemplifies how this already anxiety inducing time in foster children’s lives was significantly intensified by the COVID19 pandemic. There are certain groups of people that many of us think of when we hear “marginalized group” but one most people don’t think of is foster children, especially those who are close to aging out. Kids in the foster system normally struggle to have their voices heard and are a group that experiences arguably the most emotional distress and inconsistency in their lives out of anyone in our country. This pandemic not only made them, kids who were about to age out of the system, more stressed and fearful for their future than ever but there was also hardly anything they could do about it either. The inclusion of this collection item is meant to spread and educate people on the strain that this pandemic has put on kids aging out of the foster care system. No one should ever have to worry about losing a safe and stable home, especially not during a global health crisis and Deshala’s story amplifies this issue and calls for action for others in similar situations due to the pandemic.