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  • Writer's pictureJamaal Peeples

To School or Not to School




"Mortimer! We're back!"


First and second, thank you to EVERYONE who bought my book, Single Black Dad. Like to the bottom of my heart, thank you. When I started this blog almost two years ago, I really didn't think that anyone would want to read the jumbled mess of thoughts that go through my head. But, jokes on me. You all do read it! And you all even like it! Some of you even took $10.49 that you could have spent on Starbucks or a six pack of Bud Light (or two six packs of Busch Light for my Iowa folks) and bought my book. So thank you!


And if you haven't bought my book. Don't worry, you can buy it on my website www.singleblackdad.com. There is still time!!!!!!


Preview of coming attractions. I gave about 110% dedication to writing my book and about 50% dedication to promoting my book. Hey, ya boy got busy. Iowa opened up. I started working both jobs again. And after working my real job, and then going out on weekends and umpiring girls fast pitch softball in 90 degree weather, that kind of puts a damper on much else. So, in the next couple of weeks I'm going full force on relaunching my book. No, that doesn't mean that I want you all who bought it the first time to buy it again (although you're more than welcome to do so). But what it does mean is that I'm going all for promotion. My goal is to sell 1,000 copies of my book and be on a radio show with the girls. Sooooo....that's where we going with this.


But I had to get back to writing. Hell, I enjoy it. Plus, hopefully, some of you are going through the same things that I'm going through. And while you all might not agree with everything I say (shout out to my Baby Momma. As the kids say, she "big mad" at me about my blog/book. Well, eh) most of you all say to me, "Hey, that's exactly what I'm going through." And that feels good.


Speaking of controversial blog topics, today we tackle a big one. My thoughts and feelings about my kids going back to school in the Covid Crisis. (Ooooooooh, time to clutch those pearls).


Now, a lot of you all will not agree with me. And, I really don't care. For those who agree with me, cool. Way to be on the team! For those who don't agree with me, well maybe you can hear the opposite side and try to understand where I'm coming from. I think that's what's lacking in today's world. No one wants to hear the other argument and try to understand. So we end up with a bunch of folks on both sides who don't budge. And a lot of Facebook fools.


I always said that this Covid crisis would come down to Those Who Wanted To Live vs Those Who Didn't Want To Die. And guess what? The Livers won. Everything was all fine and dandy until people got sick of staying in the house. And folks stopped caring about caring. And when people realized that the mortality rate for the majority of us isn't really that high, then fuck it. Party on Garth! That's the society we live in. It's a me society. A lot of people have a lot to say about 2020, from renewed racial tensions to Covid. But overall, this is the year where we learned that many our neighbors and fellow countrymen aren't shit. Some folks were surprised. I was not.


This year, Amanyi will be going to 5th grade and Ayanna will be starting her Freshman year. Both girls are super ready to go back to school. However, Ayanna is more than ready to go back. See, she's a social butterfly and loves being around her friends. Yeah she wants to do school so she can learn and grown. She wants to be an attorney and attend an HBCU when she graduates. (Man, I can't wait for that day! I tell my kids all the time, when they graduate from high school and go away to college then I'm going to come their house, eat all of their food, and poop in their bathroom) But to her, she's super excited about starting her first year in high school. New faces, new activities, new boys (ugh). Plus, my girls are tired of looking at me all day while I work from home.


Now, as a parent, I want to protect my kids from every manner of harm out there. Stranger danger, Chester-Your-Local-Child-Molestor, all of that stuff. Hell, I even cringe when my kids eat hard candy because I have an irrational fear of choking. (Don't judge me, I know someone else out there has the same irrational fear). However, when it comes to an invisible disease, that really changes the game about what I can and can't control. Yeah we can clean, disinfect, and mask up when we hit the stores. But even still, there's not much I can do outside of not leaving the house. Hear me clearly, I do not want my kids to catch a cold, let alone Covid. I want them to grow up and bury me someday, not the other way around.


But, on the other hand, I am a single parent. And while my kids are a little older and don't need as much hand holding, I still need them to actually go to school so that I can work. Amanyi doesn't always follow the guidelines to leave Daddy alone when he's working. But I'm blessed right now because I can work from home. I've always wanted to work from home. It's too bad it took a global pandemic to make it happen. However, I know that isn't everyone's story. Some people have to make real decisions about their employment and closing their lives down to Covid. And I can't close down my life to Covid. I can't afford to. A few years ago, I was buying food stamps because I made too much to get them on my own, but I still needed help buying groceries. I had to do what I had to do. Same thing with Covid and school, some of us gotta do what we gotta do.


What I wish is there was real direction coming from our elected officials about what steps we should be doing. I mean, it was nice getting $1,200 from the government and all, but what I need are some real options and relief for child care. I need my kid to be able to get back and forth to school without it being a burden too much on me. I need my kids to be able to go to school in an environment that isn't just safe for them, but also safe for the folks who work there. Yeah, Covid mortality rates for children aren't that high. Which is why I felt comfortable about sending them to school. It's the quality of the education that I'm worried they'll get. Pretty much anyone with a pulse can be a substitute teacher these days. And with so many teachers opting for early retirement and those who choose not to return due to Covid, I worry about our public schools.


At the end of the day, I support the kids going back to school. Fight me bro'. And for those of your folks out there who have two parent homes and/or are able to take the whole year off and home school your kids, stop fucking judging us who have to make pimp decisions when it comes to our kids and school. Uppity folks. My kids and I want schools to open. 20% because we are tired of looking at each other, and 80% because I don't have any other options for my kids' education this year. And that is a shitty place to be in to make a decision.


Read and discuss.













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