By WMM Contributor: Elizabeth Braatz
To beloved children,
We are now on day what feels like 10,549.5 of our lives abruptly changing. While most adults are focusing on trying to get their work done at home and help their kids do school work, I also see how you are stressed and struggling. I know it’s frustrating to sleep, eat, learn and play in the same space day-after-day. I know you love each other dearly but I get that you’re also really sick of seeing each other, and your father and me. I know, most of all, that you miss your teachers more than words can express, that your friends are now only tangible in front of a screen and that the activities that you love are now wiped out of your life – for now.
The saddest day for me was waiting for your teacher parade. We waited and waited and some of your teachers didn’t drive by and the ones that did, well, they made all of us cry. I watched your faces in excitement, I saw you glow with pride and then I watched as that excitement washed out of your faces just as quickly as it came. That was your glimmer of happiness; your glimmer of normalcy and then it was gone.
This is my promise to you…this disease is still going to be in our lives for a long time. We don’t know when it will go away and when they’ll be a vaccine or a cure. We may know someone who gets very sick from it; it may be you or another family member. What I do know is that we are in control of how we react going forward. We can continue to play outside and make memories at home. The weather will warm so we can ride our bikes, rollerblade, make fires in the backyard, jump on the trampoline and swing on the swing set. We can venture to the park and now play with our friends. Some may not be ready to play, while others will want to. That’s fine.
We will survive the rest of the year of schooling. We are now in a groove and will finish all of your work and show your teachers how committed and smart you are. We will create a bucket list for the summer and do as many of the things that we normally do. We will celebrate birthdays and we will see fireworks. We will also make a bucket list of what we’ll do when life goes back to normal and you’ll get so much pleasure in crossing those items off the list.
This moment in time, this moment in your lives, well, it will be just that. It will be a moment that you will likely remember forever. I want you to know that I see how hard you are struggling. I want you to also know that we are here for you. If you get sick, we will care for you. If you are sad, lonely or feeling blue, you can tell us about it. And if you’re simply mad because your lives are turned upside down, well, that’s okay to too. We feel the same way. You are protected and you are loved.