Girls, your parents are in uncharted territory.
We are making decisions that, on some scale, parents have never had to make before. As we face the choice of if, and how, to send you to school this fall, there is a barrage of questions. And if adults feel that they are under the microscope while making these decisions, I can only imagine the judgement passing in conversations between our children.
I hope this reflection will allow us to set the record straight, at least, as it stands in our house today. And maybe, my idealistic picture that you haven’t given this a second thought will turn out to be the truth. In that case, treat this as a historical artifact of a time that I hope you’ll never see again.
This pandemic has shown our community, and the world as a whole, that no two stories are the same. As parents are facing uncertainty, we are forced to see the prospect that, regardless of what we choose, there will be negative consequences. No one is afforded the luxury of returning to “the world as it was”.
Some other children (or adults) might try to convince you that your parents don’t have your best interest at heart because we are both continuing to work, or hope it will be safe to set foot in a school building this year, or don’t choose to switch you to private school. You might feel slighted because we aren’t hiring full-time help or aren’t investing fully in a homeschool curriculum. Heaven knows, we’ve questioned our own decisions throughout this process.
But girls, if I can tell you one thing with a huge degree of certainty, it’s this: We choose you.
And we will keep choosing you, every single day, pandemic or not.
And in our house, choosing you means also choosing the community that loves you, and investing part of our tireless work back into passions that make your world a better place.
Every single one of us has something to contribute. It’s at the intersection of our passion and the world’s need that we find our true calling. In this strange season, our dedication to raising our family collides directly with our ability to continue our professional contributions. Please know that, even though it may look atypical on the outside, we truly believe we’re putting you first.
It will not be easy, but very few things worth having come without sweat and tears. I will not always be patient. I will not instruct as well as your teacher. I will not be able to orchestrate flawlessly socially-distanced play times that simultaneously nurture your emotional growth and keep you healthy. There will be more mistakes than triumphs.
Even in this seemingly “less than” environment, please remember: We choose you. It will not be easy, or always pleasant, or something that we ever want to repeat again. It’s my prayer that we will look back on this time and find it as one where our family grew stronger, together. Or, maybe you’ll look back and laugh at the number of You Tube Videos I had to watch about teaching your child to read.
As the summer winds down, my girls, hold my beer. I have work to do.