About Her New Normal
I love teaching and will do it with anyone in any place. This essay is about a teaching assignment that Snow had. On Friday, my essay is about my oldest granddaughter, Ti Ti, and her classwork. Both Snow and Ti Ti were to write a poem. Fatty, my youngest granddaughter in Myanmar, is in the process of writing hers.
Their task is to write a poem about life in Myanmar. Had they written their poems during our family tour nearly two years ago, their poems would have been expressions of fun while ballooning over Bagan or visiting Set Set Yo. However, times in Myanmar are different. The coronavirus and the military coup have changed this moment in time for them.
I recalled Moh Moh telling me about when she was a young girl during the 8888-Uprising. She would go to bed at night wondering if there would be enough food for breakfast the next day.
Snow and I have a fascinating relationship. I first met Snow when she was four and attending a pre-school near their home. This photo is of Snow carefully listening to her teacher. Fatty was only two, and neither of them remembered me.
However, I returned four years ago. Ti Ti told her younger sisters that PaPa Al was coming back to visit them. I enjoyed the time we had together on my second trip. On my last day before leaving the next morning, the family and I went for a walk. To be honest, I don’t recall who was on our walk or where we were going. However, I clearly remember leaving their home. We hadn’t been but a few steps from their home when Snow took hold of my hand as we walked. She didn’t say anything or even look at me. She simply took ahold of my hand and continued to walk. It was one of those quiet times in life that the silence was deafening. Snow wanted to express her love for me.
That evening, my family took me out for dinner. Ko Ko drove, Moh Moh set on the other side of the front set with Ti Ti between them. Essentially, the adults sat in the front seat, and the three kids, Fatty, Snow, and I were in the backseat. I was sitting in the middle between Fatty and Snow. As Ko Ko started to drive to the restaurant, I reached over and took ahold of Snow’s hand. I precisely followed Snow’s methodology. I merely took ahold of her hand.
I returned nearly three years ago during my winter break from teaching with presents for my family. One of my gifts was three small boxes, which contained a brooch for each of my granddaughters.
Then we went on our first family tour to some places I had been before and to other places, many of which I never knew existed. That trip was the best time of my life. However, I had to return home to the States, which meant that I had to say good-bye to my family.
Snow made me a Christmas gift. She took the box that had her brooch in it and put her drawing of us holding hands in the box.
As you read this essay, there is no way to explain how I felt when Snow gave me her gift. I see that gift every day and remember Snow’s love for her PaPa Al.
Even before I left, we were planning our second family tour for my winter break in a couple of months from now. However, COVID-19 went on a world tour, which included Myanmar. Then, in early February of this year, the military staged a coup.
This is the genesis of my wanting them to write a poem about life, which strangely parallels Moh Moh’s when she was Snow’s age. This is Snow’s email to me, which included her poem.
Pa Pa Al,
How are you? I am Snow. I hope you and Ginger are Feeling Well❤👀.
Here is my Poem.
Feel bored staying in a house
Can’t eat what we want to eat.
Covid is really Bad.
We have Three problems.
OH! When will these evils end?😶
By the way, this is my email account,😻
Snow, I don’t know when these evils end, but I know that I will always cherish our time together and all our memories. I miss you, your sisters, and your parents. We are family. I will return, and we will go on our second family tour. In the meantime, study, smile, and have fun.
We will hold hands again…I promise.