AILA members are sharing their first person accounts of life and work at the moment – if you’re an AILA member, please email your 400-800 word submission to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Thank you for all you do!
The world runs on hope. Hope is the expectation that there will be a positive outcome. Hope is what I give my clients. Today, I hold on to hope as I maneuver one day at a time through my new normal.
As a single parent, it was very much an adjustment when schools closed and working from home became my new normal, my daily routine. Creating and sticking to a routine was difficult. Then I figured out what this new life reminded me of: It was like the first two weeks (maybe longer) of being a parent for the very first time! A bit shell shocked and not leaving the house much with strange new responsibilities, disturbed sleep, way more hygiene protocols than ever before, a child constantly around, and thoughts like, ‘what the hell have I gotten myself into?’ But then I realized that that all settled down and became normal and this will too. As soon as I realized that, I felt hope again…
Then came the third week and the beginning of homeschooling…probably the hardest week during my adjustment. When did I become a first-grade teacher? Suddenly, not only did I have my work schedule, I had my son’s school schedule to balance. There was a barrage of links, passwords, Google classrooms, Zoom meetings, emails, etc. It was too much…not only was I teaching my son reading and math but also conducting his “Specials” classes where we got assignments from his music, art and P.E. teachers! Because he goes to a “Project-Based Learning” school, we had to continue doing projects, such as planting a seed and seeing it grow so he learns the life cycle of a plant. I was struggling to ensure that he was staying on track, eating lunch, and that I was making said lunch. And, oh yeah, did I mention I am a single mom and have job, too? I didn’t want to be subject to silent judgment if his assignments weren’t completed and turned in. Feeling overwhelmed, I was on the verge of losing that small bit of hope again. But then I realized that my son will be fine. He will discover that he got a lot of out this time spent hanging out with his mother. My seed of hope grew a bit more.
As I wrote at first, as an immigration attorney, hope is what I give my clients. Lately, I find myself being that same voice of hope to myself. I remind myself that we need to take it one day at a time. That I am resilient, and have the ability to bounce back from adversity. Being resilient has always been my default. Nearly every day has brought a new change to the practice of immigration with laws, regulations, memos, bans, court-decisions, etc. My resilience and perseverance have helped me to persist through the ever-changing terrain of immigration law. While fighting these battles for my clients, I have found that these new “fights” make me love the practice of law again. As my clients get approvals and are granted relief, I feel I am serving a purpose and standing up to the bully. These wins feed my wellspring of hope.
I recently read, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain….” Hope has taught me how to dance in the rain. Just like the previous storms, this storm shall pass, and I will have learnt a new dance routine! Have hope and stay resilient!
There is a strange scene that has lasted these past 6 weeks
Birds are in flight, but humans are in captivity
People are scattered like leaves in autumn
The streets are windy, and the roads are closed
The whole world is engulfed by this pandemic
Someone says it’s somebody’s trick – others say it’s a hoax
There are hospitals everywhere – where patients lay
Physicians are at the forefront saving them from this outbreak
If Fall was possible, then Spring will come
Leave the disappointment, start to hope again
Birds will come back
Patients will be healed
There will be noise everywhere
These silences will be gone, schools will find inspiration again
The colors will be restored
Flowers will fill the courtyards again
AILA member moms and mother figures, please give your best advice to fellow parents working from home amid the COVID-19 outbreak in a 10-second-or-less snippet for our Mother’s Day video! Read more about the project: https://www.aila.org/about/announcements/mothers-day-advice