When the kids are gone and summer is flying fast and the morning chill portends to fall. When the news is bleak with buckled houses and panicked faces and fierce mobs shooting in the streets. When hopes fade and fears swell and what’s on the horizon seems like more than I can face, I can either give into the gloom, let it swallow me like an ocean, roll me into its dark depths.
As schools around the country prepare to reopen and parents and teachers nervously consider their options for the fall, it’s anyone’s guess how returning to the classroom will affect the course of the pandemic, or – more personally – how it will affect them and their family. Because that’s the truly scary part. Right? Asking, how will Covid-19 affect me?
Growing up, I often felt the need to take care of myself. I had an amazing Mom, but she was also single and amazingly busy finishing college, running a farm and working to put food on the table. A memory I cannot shake is of finding her bent over her desk, head in her hands, weeping over a stack of bills.
Fear is a terrible adviser. So I realized when the producers of Canada’s longest-running daily television show invited me to their studio to talk about my just-released memoir. I once loved traveling. But the more complicated life became and the more heartache I experienced, the more I feared venturing far from my home and family. And it wasn’t just the trip that scared me.
I have taken a vacation from writing this column for the past eight weeks, I have also been wrestling with an unexpected onslaught of fear and – dare I say it? – anxiety. It came out of nowhere one week before the May release of my memoir. Seemingly overnight, months of planning and mounting excitement to share our family’s adoption story turned into panic as the day of our community book release party neared.