Life feels a little funny these days, doesn’t it? Months ago, when we heard of the pandemic coming to the United States, we had no clue what that meant.
And in many ways, we still don’t.
We were forced to slow down our busy lives, as parents returned to their homes to work from there. And children returned to their homes to learn. Life as we knew it took a pause. There were no more extra curricular activities. No more movies to attend. No more restaurants to dine in. All plans were cancelled. As we sat inside. And waited.
And then things began to open up. Slowly, but surely. We could get haircuts again and sit inside our favorite restaurant. It was the same, but oh so very different. Now, when we leave the house, we check for our masks and hand sanitizer like we do for our cell phones and car keys.
This is our new normal.
And it’s strange. Isn’t it?
Sometimes the reality of our current situation feels a little more heavy than at other times. Now, for parents all around the country, this may be one of those heavy moments.
As we are faced with the question: Will our children return to school in the fall? And if so, in what capacity? We suddenly are wondering if our children will be able to wear masks for eight hours a day? And what will riding the bus be like? Will they eat lunch with their friends? Will they have to sit six feet apart? What about recess? Is it safe? Are they safe? Is our family safe? What about the teachers? Are they safe?
Our minds ping-pong with all of the what-ifs swirling around in a cloud of uncertainty.
It’s like we are participating in a grand experiment that none of us signed up for.
Regardless of how you feel about this pandemic, the reality is that we are all living in it. We are all experiencing a moment that will be forever recorded in history. It’s something we have never dealt with before. And it’s okay to feel confused and uncertain. It’s okay to have moments of grief and sadness. We are experiencing loss. And now, we are once again faced with the reality that whether our children attend school in the fall, or learn from home, their experience of school will be different than it ever has been.
And for that, our hearts grieve.
For me personally, it’s hard to picture my children learning at school in a socially distanced environment surrounded by masks and hand sanitizer, and it’s hard for me to picture them learning from home. My heart grieves for what they have lost.
But even in the uncertainty and the with the challenges, I can see the blessings. I can see how they are still thriving. And I know deep down in my heart, that whatever we choose? They will be okay.
The challenging things we face in life ultimately make us stronger. They build character and resilience. They teach us things about life that we never would have learned had we not traveled down those bumpy roads. Our kids are learning new life skills. They are learning how to move forward when life throws you a curve ball.
And they are watching.
They see how we are responding to this. Will we always respond in the best way? Probably not. Because we are human. And we aren’t perfect. And there is a lot about this that is just plain hard.
But even when we mess up, they will still see how we pressed on. How we turned a challenging situation into something positive. They will see how we sometimes had to go into a room to cry, and at other times how we all sat and laughed as we spent another evening in the company of one another — playing board games, baking, and going on evening bike rides. They will see how we struggled to make decisions at times, but that we learned how to weigh our options and make the best decisions for our family. They will see how we adapted. And how we found joy in our new normal.
Yes, these days may be challenging. And yes, we may have moments of uncertainty. But there is still joy to be found. Our kids are learning new and valuable life lessons. Regardless of whether you choose to send your kids to school, or teach them from home – you will get through this. We will get through this.
Just like we have been for the past few months. Day by day.
And mama, I want you to hear this: You are doing a good job. Your kids are loved. They are cared for. And whether they learn at school, or at home? They are going to be okay.