Like everyone else, I am absolutely exhausted. Mustering up all the energy and courage I have left to move forward in this ongoing pandemic. After attending N.'s school open house once we returned from our August birthday festivities with family in Jersey, we made a tough decision to homeschool until N. is fully vaccinated and has an extra layer of protection. It's the most comfortable choice we could make for our family right now.
It's not the choice I would have liked to make. In fact, I was hopeful after speaking with N.'s nurse practitioner about her thoughts on full return to school in person. Sadly, the principal's truthful look of desperate defeat in his eyes as we asked about other mitigation strategies in keeping students safe was not convincing enough for us to have confidence in N.'s return as a fourth grader. And so the less fearful for us is to homeschool. I am deeply aware of how privileged we are to see homeschooling as a temporary alternative, and I am grateful.
Now that we've committed to this educational challenge (I had to formally complete the paperwork to withdraw from our local public school system), my body has been waking me at 5.30am every morning. I've tried to use this time to center myself -- breathing, praying, and lying in silence as I try to just be in my body and let myself be with whatever I'm feeling at the moment, mostly anxiety coupled with madness along with gratitude. When I'm running errands alone, I have my moments of welling up, giving in to feeling doomed, a chance to decompress, only to shake it off and find something positive such as . . . While we focus to stay alive during covid, I'm not in the same circumstances as the many Afghan women and girls who struggle to survive or others elsewhere in the world who suffer.
Deep breaths. Thankful that the summer's been good to us.
Especially for those with young kids, whether you've chosen in person, virtual or homeschool, wishes for a smooth and healthful return to learning.