Back to the Classroom

My daughter went back to school today. 

She hasn't been out long, two weeks for Christmas break, and then one more tacked on while the government said that they were going to give the schools a chance to make the schools a little safer. This was supposed to include upgraded air filters, N95 masks for all, and the ever-elusive at-home rapid tests were even going to be handed out twice a week. 

You would think at this point I would have stopped taking our current provincial government at their word. You would think I would know to take everything they say with a grain of salt. But I don't. I still think that they are not only going to do what they say they are going to. I still think that they care about us, the public.

And because of all of this, I am stuck. I know that my daughter needs to be in school to learn. She is a kid who needs to be amongst her peers and within their safe social structure to learn at the best of her ability. But, when she was born she was in the NICU for eight days. At birth, one of her lungs collapsed and that hole in her heart that fixes itself at birth didn't fix itself. For the first four days of her NICU, no one told me what was wrong with her. For the first three days, I couldn't hold her. 

Even now the damage of her lungs at birth still causes problems. When she gets cold she suffers worse than the rest of us do. The congestion in her chest is heavy and doesn't like to go, she spikes high fevers and it takes a long time for her to get better. 

So, today as she is back in class I worry. Not openly, not even consciously. But I know it's there. The filters weren't installed, the N95s were not procured, the tests will not be sent home either. And my daughter is there. Thankfully she is old enough to wear her mask, wash her hands, and do all of the things she can do to protect herself. I trust that she won't get sick. But is my trust misplaced again?

To change the subject completely, it's music time. This song is one that is short but has such an impact. It was released in 1971 and on the surface, it is a simple love song. Ain't no Sunshine by Bill Withers was written when Bill Withers was working to make toilet seats for airplanes. One of the funnier bits of trivia is that when this song went gold, the record company presented Withers with a golden toilet in recognition. Withers has said that he was inspired to write the song by the movie "Days of Wine Roses". The 26 "I knows" were originally placeholders as Withers worked on lyrics, however when he played the song for other artists such as Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, and his producer Booker T, they convinced him to leave it. 

I love this song, Withers's voice is haunting and hopeful and you can feel the weight of his words. And many others must love it as well. It was covered by Micheal Jackson for the movie Ben, Stevie Wonder has performed it, as have many others. So give it a listen. 


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