There are moments in our life that we think about long before they come.
Moments we know are going to take up a lot of space in our hearts, moments that will likely forever be etched into our minds.
Dropping my kids off at Kindergarten for the first time is one of those moments for me. I’m a pretty emotional Mom who gets wrapped up in the firsts, and I feel A LOT.
I struggled quite a bit when my first born went to kindergarten. And now, 4 years later, it’s my middle child’s turn and I’m filled with so many other emotions I never had to process with my first.
Life looks different these days as we navigate living during a pandemic, still, 18 months later.
We live in a world that is so divided and we are surrounded by a lot of negativity and fear. As hard as I try to maintain some normalcy in our home, when they leave our home there is no way to shelter them from the world outside.
So, instead of just worrying about missing my Kindergartner and if he’ll make new friends and how he’ll like his teacher and what he’ll do if he gets lost… I’m filled with other emotions on top of the typical worries.
I’m filled with grief that his kindergarten year will not look the way it should.
Grief that a worldwide pandemic has led to our children with masks on their face without the ability to see a smile from a student or a teacher.
Grief that I am not allowed inside my son’s school.
Grief that connection is different these days because everyone has a different comfort level.
This isn’t a debate on our beliefs about what is going on, or if children should wear masks, it’s recognition that no matter what side of the matter you stand on, we are all grieving. We are grieving experiences we could have never imagined looking different.
This isn’t me telling you how to feel, this is me encouraging you to FEEL IT… no matter what it is you are feeling.
This isn’t just reserved for Mama’s of kindergarteners either, this is for all of us sending our kids off to school this year who are grieving the way it used to be while embracing the way it is, and making the most of an unfortunate situation.
So, what do I know?
What I know is my kids only get one first day of school for their kindergarten and 4th grade year, and I will do my best to make it a good one.
I know that my attitude trickles downward and I will help them make the most of this year.
I know that my voice is needed and I’m learning to not be afraid to use it on matters that are important to me.
I know that our home is a safe space for my children, and now more than ever, kids need a safe space to come home to and that is something I am in control of.
This school year will be different, but I can’t redo this year with my kids, and neither can you.
When the grief consumes us, and the tears fall relentlessly down our cheeks, we can commit to remind ourselves that though this year will be different, it will also have it’s beautiful moments that we will cherish in our hearts forever.
I will not let a pandemic steal the joy of parenting my children.
Things may look different.
I may have to fight harder for joy.
But I will not let the joy be stolen even as I grieve the way I wish it was.