I cannot take anything for granted

Columnist Diamond Robinson. Photo by Archie Art

Balancing motherhood while attending FAMU has become routine for me since last fall. 

My son Jai is a one year old. He is extremely playful and friendly, full of joy and oatmeal. His curly brown hair and hazel eyes make him hard to resist. 

However, it has not always been a smooth ride. With COVID-19 claiming the lives of more than 210,000 Americans, I’ve had to adjust my lifestyle for two.

The daycare that my child attends reduced its hours of operation back in May. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines prohibited all childcare facilities from remaining open full time. During the summer, more people were beginning to contract the deadly virus which resulted in case numbers rapidly growing in Florida and in the United States overall. 

These circumstances forced me to make some immediate changes. After removing a course and adjusting my fall semester schedule, I was physically available for my son during afternoons. 

Instantly, I started to get burnt out. It has been so overwhelming to make deadlines for assignments and manage my mother duties all at once. Often, I had to wait until Jai would take a nap or go to bed to fully concentrate and complete homework.

Then on August 25 my son woke up at 2  a.m. hysterically crying with a high fever. His breathing began to grow heavier and the crying continued for another half hour. 

As a first time mother, I panicked and rushed him to the nearest emergency clinic. I discovered that my son was experiencing difficulty breathing due to him showing early signs of asthma. 

I was relieved that Jai’s condition was not severe and that I acted quickly that night. Since then, his asthma has been better controlled. However, all of my family remain concerned and want us to return home to Central Florida so that we can be closer.

Life was beginning to weigh down on me. However, my resilience kept me pushing forward as I tackled each hurdle that came my way.

Recently, my mother shared the news that she has tested positive for COVID-19. She says she is incredibly weak and has multiple symptoms. The news has been devastating for my family members. 

Additionally, my mother’s age makes her a higher risk factor. Family and friends have made it a priority to have groceries delivered to her doorstep, check on her health daily and keep her in our prayers as she recovers.

Experiencing all of these obstacles has certainly made me stronger and more cautious. I view every day as a blessing. My son, family and health are constant reminders that I cannot take anything for granted during times like this.