A Letter from a Principal Reminding Us to Look After Our Children and Ourselves in this Dark Time.
Monday, September 02, 2019
A note a principal in Hong Kong sent to his teachers, then forwarded to the parents.
I thought it was really thoughtful to remind everyone that we mustn't forget the emotional state of our children at a dark time like this. I have completely been guilty of it. My son recently asked me "When are protests over? So you don't have to write so much?"
After a 12 year old was arrested, I told him about it, and ask if he would ever do the same. "Mum, it's not normal to ask your 11 year old if they want to protests, you can get it trouble. I don't want to get hurt," he told me.
He's come home with his dad when I am upset at what just happened. The most recent, I remember saying, "They arrested eight people," when I opened the door, and very soon I went back to reading the news.
I know that I have not paid as much attention to him. I knew I had to stop all interactions with Hong Kong news through his birthday weekend in case it affected my mood.
When I committed to writing for HKFP, I hadn't foreseen so much to happen. That's actually not true. I foresaw a lot, I knew it would only get more violent and confrontational, I knew people would have to make hard decisions about where they stood.
What I hadn't imagined was the absolute resolve the Hong Kong people would have. Both those of the peaceful protesters and the hardcore ones. I didn't know it would happen week after week for months. What I didn't foresee was Carrie Lam, and the Chinese Government would not capitulate. I didn't expect the erosions of all the norms that has since happened.
Reading what the principal wrote about how some of the children will be having existential crisis because being a police officer is a role many children play, and many would like to grow up to be.
I realized that maybe there are many unseen changes in each of us ourselves. Not only did I not think it would take up so much time, I hadn't expected that I would go through personal changes as well. I didn't expect that it would raise so many questions for myself.
Watching my home disintegrate, I have questioned my role while living in the US; my moving to the US; my son being an American; questioning the break I took away from writing; why was I drawing attention to myself when I am safely ensconced, what did the Colonial government mean to me, and my family's role in the Colonial Government and another myriad of questions.
They are questions that I occasionally think about, but it seemed that these events have brought it all to the forefront. I think I'll use this blog to figure out some of those thoughts. But for now, I must not forget that my mission is to make everyday a happy day for my son and myself.