I’m sitting in what is usually my kids drop off line at the rear of his school to pick up his assigned Chromebook for this school year. Usually by this time we would have picked up a school supply list from Walmart and gotten all the necessary items. Fighting crowds of other parents waiting until the final hour to get supplies is usually how we rolled. I’m accustomed to hearing the other moms huff and puff over the 3 packs of copy paper needed and wanting to know why their kid needs to bring in dry erase markers and transparency paper (some kids are too young to remember those days). Shopping for new school clothes was always the highlight of my school years. There’s nothing like laying out your back-to-school outfit the night before and having your backpack all packed and ready. Why did that make me feel like hot shit?? Like I’m seriously laughing about this right now. I loved it.
Where I live in North Carolina it has been decided that the kids will be learning virtually up until the end of the first nine weeks. At that point it will be re-assessed to determine if children will remain virtual or go back to attending classes in person. So today I’m sitting in the line waiting to get the Chromebook for my 4th grader. I’m now dreading my decision to wait to come after work and after I picked up the baby as he hasn’t stopped yelling at me yet from his car seat! I do not recommend. But as I’m sitting here I can’t help but think how different things will be now. My son already thinks this means he can sleep in now that he doesn’t have to “go to school”. I quickly let him know he will be on a strict schedule for classes and that he will still be required to brush his teeth and wash his face. What is it with boys?
Like most kids, he’s asked me a million questions about what’s going on. He wants to know why he can’t go to school. He’s asked me where his friends will be. He wants to know if he’s ever going to go back to school. What about soccer? What about library books? What about my lunch number? Will I have an art teacher? The list goes on and on. Do I have all the answers? Nope. But I’ve let him know that we are going to get through this together.
I guess what I want to say is that I know as adults this has been hard for us. I’ve seen lots of pouting and whining from “grownups” on social media and in real life. I’ve probably heard about 5% of kids complain about a mask, missing restaurants, crying about a haircut, or not being able to go to a movie. Kids a resilient. But trust me when I say they need us to navigate them through this in a positive way. They miss lots of things as well. They’re going to miss out on a lot more too. More importantly, they have loved what they’ve gotten more of, and that’s time with their parents. I’ve seen more families eating meals together again, planting gardens, taking trips, announcing pregnancy, just living. And that’s amazing.
Like everything in life, we can decide how things affect us. You can let the issues at hand make you live in negativity or you can choose to be optimistic, you can choose to be positive, and you can definitely choose to make sure your kids are living in a positive space. They’re watching and they’re listening. The hard times always test us the hardest, but our mindset can determine how well we adapt.
Okay, another thing. Let’s steer away from judgment as well. Being a parent is hard enough as it is, being a mom is hard enough when we already judge ourselves so heavily. If you have a mom friend that is sending her kids to school, then you tell her, “I know that wasn’t an easy decision, I support you in making the choices that are best for your family!” And the same applies if she’s homeschooling on her own or virtually through their public or private school. These are trying times and what we all need most is love and support. Keep teachers and school administration in your thoughts as well. Many are putting their families at risk by going back to full classrooms and many will be missing their students. They’ll miss those high fives and hugs. Teachers, THANK YOU!!! Nobody needs the negativity. So just like your mama used to say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”
I love you all! Support each other. Uplift each other. We will survive this, together!!