Dear Diary,

It’s been over a week since I last confided in you. I needed a break from the time I had committed to writing, even though the process helped me clear my mind from the day. The absence from writing has been noticed, and I have resolved that writing to you needs to continue, if not daily, then several times a week. I have turned to other vices to help me work through my stress, and my walking regime has decreased as well. I will not meet my goal of fitting into my pre-Covid pants if I continue this pattern.

This week I had the opportunity to visit with the 1st grade charmer that I had written about a few weeks ago. Yesterday at recess, he attempted holding my hand, and under normal circumstances, I would not have thought about it. I would have held his hand as we walked the playground together. It was different this year. I anticipated that he would extend his hand, but I regretfully stuck both of my hands in my pockets each time I observed his hand raising. I hated that I was responding in that manner, but I was nowhere near a soap and water or hand sanitizer, and I thought twice this time. I hate that. My 1st grade charmer also asked me if I could take him to the doctor because he had a broken heart and the doctor could fix it. When my 1st grade charmer left school in the afternoon, he blew me a kiss good-bye, and it brought a smile to my masked face.

I have prepared a painting cart to push around with my regular cart, and I am now offering drawing and painting centers to the artists. Before leaving each school this week, I organized a collage center. I am excited to offer 3 media centers to align with my Teaching for Artistic Behavior (or TAB) philosophy and Choice-Based Art Education (or CBAE). While this may seem like a lot of prep, and it is, this gives my mind peace that I am simplifying the artistic process on my end, still meeting the National Standards for Art, and trusting that the artists can be hold autonomy in their artmaking.

During the 5th cycle of lessons, I painted with most classes, and kindergarten rocked the stage like none other. What a blast for their first time painting together in class. I am incredibly excited to see their completed work, but what was more exciting was their reaction to creating new colors on their own by mixing the existing colors in their palette.

As I wind down for the evening, I share the table with my son, Oscar, who is snacking on cereal and serenading me with a “Gummy Bear” song with his own lyrics – repeating “no, no, no” to the tune. Bedtime should have started more than a half hour ago, but it didn’t work out that way tonight.

I’m glad that we have reunited. I plan to chat with you more.

By the way, wear your freaking masks, so that this virus can be mitigated. If your employer tells you to do so, please do it. If a business requires a mask to enter, wear the mask. If you are around people you aren’t normally around, wear your mask. Every student in school right now wishes not to be wearing a mask. I bet everyone else does, too.