This is truly an unprecedented time for all of us.

We’re inundated with terrible news left and right and it can be hard to remember that we’re all in this together.

That’s why we’ve started this new thing called, “JCC Denver Diaries,” a space where our staff members (and community members) can compose written pieces to share with our J families. Please read on to hear from Sarah Roberts, our Assistant Director of Education and Early Childhood Engagement at the Early Learning School:

“At the start of this year I had a plan, it was a great plan. I was going to go on vacation for the first time ever with my daughter. I did all the things, I saved the money, I bought the plane tickets in advance, paid for the AirBnB up front, and set the stage for the surprise. For one week, we would be able to turn off the alarm, wake with the sun, and create a day that we wanted. As we moved closer to the departure date, the world got weird. And now I am sitting in my bed, surrounded by the things I love: my small family, my animals, my plants, and my artistic expressions of connection. The alarm is turned off, but the dog still wakes me up by 6:00 am (after seven years, I think she is hardwired to wake up early). These three weeks feel like they should be a good thing. And I am trying to make them a good thing.

I am lucky my daughter is 10 and really good at finding ways to advocate for herself and to support her own needs in this time. We have learned the value of Facebook Messenger, and for the past day her cousin has just been a digital presence in the house. They are both doing their own thing, but checking in with each other when needed. She is trying to pretend that she isn’t heartbroken that she might not ever go back to her school again. We were planning on moving to a new school for fifth grade, but now who knows. How can I think about paying for school next year when I don’t know if I will be able to pay for rent next month? Seems hard to imagine even thinking about a vacation in the next year or five. I am trying to see this time as the much-needed space to write my lit. review for my doctorate. But it is hard to think about much else besides the people, teachers, families, and children, that I saw each day at the J.