Summer is coming to an end. It came and went without a bang. No tans, no beach, no pools, and barely any friends. It didn’t kick off with a big celebratory last day of school. The unprecedented pandemic era has thrown off all of our plans and traditions as we knew them. Though, to be totally honest, I don’t think that it’s entirely for the worst. Maybe we’ve lived most of our days unconsciously. There is a lot that we’ve taken for granted. I’ve been doing an exercise in viewing these changes as somewhat of a blessing in disguise (and that is not at all meant to downplay the loss suffering some have endured in the name of Covid), but one day, I just realized that this was my chance to pause and reevaluate what I really wanted and valued most. I discovered that family is what I hold closest to my heart. I don’t value a career or climbing any ladders. I view working as more of a necessity. What I wanted was to slow down and to be closer to the people I loved. I feel like the world could use a good dose of family values.
Despite, the bland lack of eventfulness, this is the first summer ending that doesn’t feel like a goodbye. This year is different–we’ve become homeschoolers. Hello new chapter–wants and values are being realized. I’m not sure how long we will continue homeschooling, but I do know that it will be at least for the duration of the school year. This was just the most reasonable option for us with all of the uncertainties at the moment. I know that there are a lot of parents struggling right now wondering how they are going to make all of this work. I feel blessed that I have this opportunity. I do, of course, have some fears, the same ones that I’m sure most parents in my position have: will I be able to teach them what they need to know, will they have enough social interaction, what if I need a break? The best advice that I have received came from a friend–a veteran homeschooling mom. She told me that I’m not going to mess this up–clear, simple, and matter-of fact. I’m not going to mess this up. We aren’t going to mess this up. We will all get through this–in our own ways.
If we didn’t know this before: seasons don’t care what we check off of our lists. The summer came and went–just like it does. There were no big parties, nor any special plans, but we did this summer the best we could–we spent it together. We managed to make a few new friends and opened a few new doors. We did a lot of learning about ourselves and about what mattered most. We sent the summer off in style–in the backyard, with a homemade fort, no frills, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores until we were tired and eaten up by mosquitoes. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring it on 20-21!
How are your kids going back to school this year, and will it be a big change from your norm?