Online? In school? Homeschool? This year’s back-to-school season sure is a strange one! The close of summer is something we all eagerly anticipate, yet that feeling just isn’t the same. How can we keep our kid’s spirits up as the arrival of school gets closer and closer and the worry of the unknown seems to be greater and greater?
Where we live, it seems as if the school districts are coming out with new protocols nearly every week and have been since the middle of summer. New rules and regulations to keep the children, teachers, and administrators safe are always at the forefront of everyone’s minds. It’s a wild game trying to keep up and make sure I’m familiar with all the latest changes. It can also be extremely overwhelming, not to mention worrisome when it comes to the health of our little ones.
It’s important to remember that this can be a stressful time for everyone. But that’s the best part, we’re all in it together. Keeping that unified mentality will do wonders for our morale and for our kids. When masks are required, and social distancing is expected, step up and do your part. When college sports seasons are canceled and school is back to being log-in style, there’s always a silver lining. Maybe it really is finding joy in the simple things of life—spending those extra hours with our kiddos that grow oh so fast! As I’ve mentioned before, these kids will learn and follow your example, so set a good one—let the story they believe, be one that helps them feel comfortable and safe.
One of the most recent sayings I have come across is, as opposed to referring to these challenging times and changes as our “new normal” choose to use the phrase “new now”. Focusing on what is happening now instead of reflecting back on how simple, easy, fun, convenient, and fulfilling life seemed to be 6 months ago will do wonders for our mentality and mindset. Now is where we’re living. Now is where your children need you to be. Living in the now prepares us for adapting and growing—allows us more compassion without the risk of comparison.
My other day job just so happens to be an assistant volleyball coach at the local high school. I love it, and I love the chance to be around some pretty awesome young girls. We were recently in a meeting discussing the school’s and district’s rules for the upcoming season, my heart couldn’t help but turn back to even just last season when our only focus and concern was winning (which we did a lot of!). Now these girls have masks, temperature checks, contact-tracing, social distancing, and constant sanitizing issues to deal with along with playing volleyball and being a student. I was amazed at how fast my thoughts turned and how quickly the nostalgic feeling made me feel so sad, frustrated, and even ripped off. I let myself sit in those feelings for a minute, until I realized what an awesome opportunity I have, and these sweet girls have, to be doing what we love, even if it has to be modified an insane amount—it’s all certainly worth it!