Happy New Year!
Dear Central Academy Students and Families,
When I was pregnant with my second child, I had gained quite a bit of weight—more than normal and more than I had gained with my first child. The day after giving birth, I was naturally round and still looked pregnant. My eight-year old daughter asked me, “So, now the baby is here, why are you still so big?”
My first thought was, step back child, you are in range. But what I said was, “It took me 9-months to get to this size. It is going to take at least that long to get back to my normal size.” That seemed to satisfy her.
Now that the calendar is finally turning to 2021, I find my mind returning to that conversation. We have been through a very rough 9-months in 2020. I keep thinking like my 8-year old daughter did—that somehow, when we tear off that December page and begin the new year, we will magically be back to normal. I find I need to remind myself to wear my mask, that social distancing is still needed, and that many of my favorite places are still closed.
January 1, 2021 will be very much like December 31, 2020. It is going to take a while before we get back to normal. And it may take longer than we expect. In some ways it will never be like it was before.
But I also remember that, for many women, the months after pregnancy is a time of incredible creativity and energy. During pregnancy, there are major changes in the body’s physiology (physical and chemical processes) and morphology (form and structure). All those changes linger postpartum to give women additional energy and stamina required for the care of a newborn.
We have been through a difficult time. But we have also developed new skills and insights that will see us through these upcoming months as our community struggles to return to normal. It may take longer than we expect. And in some ways, it will never be like it was before. Remember to tap into that unrealized inner strength to find the stamina to persevere as we repair our community in the wake of this virus.
When we return to virtual classes on January 4, resolve to manage your time as if each moment is precious. Redouble your efforts to reach out to those whom you know need you, and to demonstrate your best self for those you may not realize rely upon your example.
Nine months to the day after I had given birth, my older daughter asked me, “Are you back to your normal size yet?”
I sighed and had to think about the answer. I had lost most of the pregnancy weight. I was stronger and happier. But I was also so dang tired because the beloved baby was still not sleeping through the night. I replied, “You’re going to have to readjust your notion of normal.”
I hope 2021 brings us all some relief and new found joy. I look forward to a time when we will gather again— when we can hug and shake hands, and our now silent hallways ring out once more with the sounds of teens on their way to someplace up ahead.
Happy New Year!