I surrender. I surrender to circumstances currently beyond my control. I surrender to the fluidity of time, to daybreak and nightfall. I surrender my resistance to embrace technology. I will meet my child’s teacher on Google classroom. We will have a face-to-face meeting this way; she will reassure my child. There is currently no other way, no other options, and so I surrender to that which is beyond my control.
I surrender to my fingers, typing these words, and my thoughts free-flowing and to the idea that – ‘idle’ and ‘dangerous’ were the next words that came to mind to continue on with that phrase. Letting the mind go idle is dangerous.
I surrender to puppy nips, licks and kisses. To training him every moment of every day he’s awake, and training hard, because my god, this puppy is worth it. I choose life, hope, renewal, positivity, forward movement every time. I surrender to the puppy whose responsibility will weigh me down because to do so is to move forward; because puppies inspire hope and bring me joy that bolster the spirit.
I surrender to being needed, and yet there is so much need around me I cannot, will not, fulfill. I surrender to being incomplete. I surrender to the idea, for the time being, there are those who have in this pandemic and those who have not. Those who’ve lost their jobs or their business, or their livelihood or their faith. And those who have gained time with their family, to slow down, to breathe. To take stock. Those who are doing just fine, better than fine. There are those who live in fear and those who seek growth. I surrender to them all. I surrender to being human.
I surrender to the notion the kids will not be going back to school. There is no way, and no easy way to say it or accept it. Elyse’s grade two year is complete; grade three testing will not happen for Ariel and Penelope’s final preschool year has come to a close. Penelope looks bigger these days; I hope she’s getting enough exercise. I forget she’ll soon be four and needs to grow. I surrender to remembering. Her preschool director dropped by yesterday from a distance; she visited every single student from the school to let them know they are loved and missed. I wanted to reach out, to cry, to hug her, but I kept my distance; I also wanted to tell her she is released, I’ve got her.
What seems like a few months ago, but was likely longer, was a meeting with Elyse’s teachers. I announced my plans for Elyse to learn to read on her own this year. That was our goal. This was supposed to be a joint venture between school and parent. Her teacher reassures me she plans to send Elyse a weekly short book to read online; still, I have ordered Elyse her own set of books from Scholastic, a particular set of books she is familiar with because the school was sending them home before. Before. The realization dawned on me. We will have to teach her to read now; it’s on us. Maybe it always was. I ordered those books, because while online reading and learning is okay, there’s something about having a book in your hand. Elyse would be missing out without that book in her hand. We can’t sell our kids short on their education and yet parents are struggling, selling themselves short. I surrender to the responsibility of educating my children, but that’s been a bargain deal established long ago. Since before birth; since the time of the womb. It’s just that now I surrender to doing it full time, for a short while. I hope it’s just a short while. We are all struggling in our own ways.
Maybe I’m not alone.
I surrender to kindness. To video chats with educational assistants, and a package of learning materials arriving sanitized on our doorstep. To watching my daughter’s face light up at the gift. To a human being thinking of the needs of another human being. And I’m smiling through happy tears.
I surrender to the idea there are people dying. Not to sound crass, but there are always people dying. It’s when death feels so present, so at the surface that we flinch. When death arrives at our neighbour’s doorstep for no apparent reason other than a shift in the wind, then we find just cause to rally and rise up against death. To give ourselves the false reassurance that when there comes a knock at our door we’ll be able to turn death away. I surrender to death, but I will not, I will NOT surrender to fear. Death is ever-present, whether we choose to see that or not.
I surrender to loss. What appears palpable and tangible and a sure thing may not be so, and so I surrender to that loss also, the loss of surety, of having groceries that I need and want when I want them. Of sipping lattes at my favourite café. Of time to myself. Of lines in stores where we don’t have to stand six feet apart. Of a world where a deadly virus does not exist.
But most of all I surrender to love; I yield to its awesome power. To the sound of the happy birthday song leaving my children’s lips, that sweet sound, as the keys to the piano dip and sway. I surrender to a puppy whose trust I must earn with each move I make. To a husband whose hair has grown floppy as a mop; I will cut it for him. I can do that. I want to. There are things within our control that we still can do.
I surrender to many things, but I will not relinquish happiness and joy. Those I will – we must – find ways to uphold. I call my way Louie. He’s currently curled up napping on my lap; the world’s problems be damned.
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