A new chapter amongst a Pandemic

Hello everyone, I imagine you are all having a crazy week so far preparing for whatever back to school it is that you face. The fact that it is already September is mind blowing, it feels like the year went by in the blink of an eye. Although it has been a year of many new things, I am also thankful. Thankful for life slowing down and being able to spend more quality time with my family. Without having to race from here to there and everywhere in between. I have always said I wish there was a pause button….I feel like this is the closest I will ever get to that. Don’t get me wrong, I miss going on date nights with my amazing husband, out to coffees with my girlfriends. Shopping trips, park play dates. Seeing my grandma and our other family members. I miss all of that so much. I just love that I’ve been making better connections with my kids, being able to really focus on matters that are important to them.

My kids amaze me! They are all being faced with something none of us have ever had to deal with going through school. How they have handled themselves, continued to enjoy life and try to make the best out of it. It shows me how resourceful they are, how much zest for life they have. Looking at it realistically 3 of my teens are at that age, where very quickly, friends will become everything. Bye bye to the times of wanting to hang out with mom and dad and watch a movie. So having this time, where they can’t socialize or do things with friends, all of their activities have stopped. I get to spend hours a day hanging out with them, going for walks, watching shows. I get to check in with them and see how they are feeling. I get to see everything in a different light. A slowed down, not in a constant rush, light. I have to say, I love it. I will always be thankful for these moments and memories we have created over this time. Our newest chapter starts next week.

We will begin Distributed Learning (DL) Public School. Which pretty much means at home learning. I had to make the very difficult decision to withdraw the kids from their current schools and enroll them into a public DL school. These are not easy times, I feel for anyone working in schools right now. I can imagine things are not easy, along with your own anxieties and fears. For us putting the kids back into school is just not the option for us. To us having immune compromised family members, we don’t want to risk anything. I was terrified at the thought of teaching the kids school, myself at home. However, now that I think about it more. I am actually quite excited. I get to spend the days with my kids, helping them learn and achieve their best. I am turning the basement into their learning space, I have a lot of work to do this week!! I have schedules to create, school supplies to go and get. A basement to transform into a lovely space for them to learn. I get to do it all with them, I don’t think it will be easy. I know I will have days where I second guess myself and think that I’m crazy.

I get to keep my kids home, I get to save them from having to feel anxiety and fear in a situation where they don’t feel comfortable. Sometimes I forget how much they feel what’s going on. Last week Sophia had a full on anxiety attack. We had to take Tim to VGH for an appointment. Her aunt had just had a surgery and was also at VGH so we put on masks, hand sanitizer and went to the cafe of VGH. Everything was set up for social distancing. We all had masks on, including my sister in law. I could see the fear in Sophia’s eyes. I could hear it in her voice as she asked me a million questions “mom, if I take off my mask to eat, will I get it?” “can I touch the table?’ “If I breath, can it go through my mask?” This went on for a good 20 minutes. I than took her out to the car and said we can wait here. She was trying to explain to me that she didn’t know what she was feeling. That she was really scared. Our kids are trying so hard to deal with all these new things. I don’t want her going into school and feeling anxiety the second she steps through those doors. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if we use masks, hand sanitizer and soap. It can be the fear alone, from what they read or see on the news or hear on the radio. All my kids have anxiety and I just couldn’t imagine putting them into that environment.

I will make it my mission this year to surround my kids in as much love as possible. To give them the best ” home classroom” they could imagine. All the while keeping them away from a tiny part of the changing world. The school world, where they will always have the fear that they could be exposed to Covid. Not understanding why they can’t hug teachers, or sit close to friends. Why they can no longer have morning assemblies everyday, no field trips, completely different set ups in class. Sometimes it’s hard for us as parents to see what they are facing, when we are dealing with all of our own things. These kids and teens, they are the real super heroes right now. Kids who have missed their normal graduations, proms, awards ceremonies. All the grade 12’s of this year, having no idea what to expect come the end of the year. Children starting kindergarten this year, who will be coming into something completely different, those kids who instead of school will be home schooled. All of them are so amazing. These are not easy times for anyone, when I think back to being my kids ages. I could’t imagine having to go though something like this.

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