I am a mom of 6 kids. They range in ages from 11-25. I’ve watched them all walk through Covid with strength, courage and wisdom beyond their years conducting themselves well amidst fears and unknown.

I woke up this past Saturday morning with the thought of ‘Twas the night before..’ and all I could think of was the start of school. I wept as I wrote this and then as I read it back to the children and their father. 

Regardless of options there isn’t a parent who won’t relate to the words of this poem. I didn’t know where it was headed at the beginning. I didn’t see the turn to hope or calling out strength. That all happened as the poem was being written. I pictured my children, the realities of the world, and what I would want to say to them. 

The Covid reality within public schools and college have landed upon each of them differently, each of their stories contributed to lines within the poem.

Twas’ The Night Before School Starts in the Year 2020

Twas the night before 

school would begin,

2020’s 1st day 

wouldn’t be met with a grin

All were stirring

Especially me and my spouse, 

As heightened anxiety

Pulsed through the house.

Computers were plugged in,

Hand sanitizer abounds,

Could the perfect mask accessory

Even be found.

Breath was being held

By parents galore,

In the hope that the school year

Wouldn’t end in gore.

The children’s experiences

Vast in their range,

The Fall of 2020

Beyond imagination strange.

No visions of dancing

Floating through our heads,

Worries and divisions 

Rested there instead.

I am a mama 

25 years in this game.

But nothing prepared me 

With how to tame this flame.

Away from this nightmare,

I wish I could go, 

How to prepare my children thoroughly,

I wish I could know.

Then what from this mother’s heart 

did appear?

With earnest affections,

I knew I could be clear.

With very little courage 

And a lot of resolve.

I knew in my gut

This problem, I could solve.

More rapidly my heart beat 

 I remembered my refrain,

I love them, their mine, 

THIS ISN’T a game!

Now courage, Now resiliency, Now might

I do claim,

Now fervor, Now strength, 

With you I remain.

To the top of my being,

To the top of my hope,

I will NOT be taken down,

I declare I’m no dope.

As I perked up and looked up,

I remembered even more,

I can meet every obstacle,

My children and I will soar.

So up I stood,

Firm in my resolve.

2020 you teach me, 

We can evolve.

A twinkling fell into my heart and my eyes,

2020, you vicious monster, I no longer despise. 

I’ve drawn into my strengths

I’m turning around.

Hope is a powerful force,

It is a mighty sound.

I am dressed for the morning

My feet planted on the ground,

We are bold, we are beautiful,

Our power indeed does abound.

I am the example,

My children will see.

“Every hurdle in life, my son,

Is what you make it to be.”

My eyes they will twinkle,

My heart will be merry.

“My daughter, my rosebud, 

Through this world we will tarry.”

2020 is not a present

Wrapped up in a bow,

“But my children, listen to your mother,

THIS you MUST know.”

“Life will come at you, 

It will knock you in the teeth.

My children don’t suffocate from it,

Rise up from beneath.”

“Put a smile on your face,

Though anxiety resides in your belly,

Momma promises simple things still exist,

In your lunch pail, will be your PB & Jelly”

“The world can be cruel

This fact is true,

But not even 2020 can ever

Beat you.”

“Look me in the eye,

Repeat this refrain,

You are BOLD, You are MIGHTY

For this moment you came.”

“Let me tell you, my child,

You might have something to dread.

But my child, I’m here, right beside you,

Get that into your head.”

“Speak not yet a word, 

Give your mother a second more,

Whether you’re 11, 21, or almost 24

BE filled with boldness, Be Clever, Be Bright

Every evening my child

Must give way to light.

And now leaning back, 

Pausing from paper and pen,

I smile, I lift up,

I remember again.

“You’re courageous, You’re mighty,

You’re wise and you care.

My child, believe me,

You’re more than halfway there.”

I spring forward to shout out to parents

Close by and far away,

“We will lead our children

Through this darker day.”

The first day of school

Tomorrow does come,

I’ve learned through this melody

Away from it, I will not run.

I turn and I face them,

Their fears and mine,

I speak truthfully because reality,

Says we might not all be fine.

But with my hand in theirs 

My eyes on their heart,

2020, you bastard, 

You will not tear us apart.