When I came to Our Tupelo with the idea to write about sending my children back to school during coronavirus, I thought it would be an easy subject to write about, I was wrong. I’ve written and rewritten this article multiple times. The truth is, I’m not sure what to say.
I thought I would write about why my husband and I decided to send our children back to traditional school in the midst of a pandemic. But once I started writing, I realized it didn’t take all that much to explain our decision. Our children are healthy with great immune systems but my son is also a high functioning autistic person with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. In his case, he needs to be at school receiving face-to-face instruction and therapy services. Social interaction with other children his age is also one of the best ways for him to learn typical people’s behaviors. My daughter, who started kindergarten this year, was also bored out of her mind and begged to go back to school after her only year of pre-k was cut short by COVID.
Though our circumstances made our decision somewhat obvious, it certainly wasn’t an easy one to make. There’s still the pandemic to consider. Everyone in our household is relatively healthy but this virus has proven unpredictable and we understand the risks. Coronavirus has personally affected us just like it has many other families. My husband’s grandmother recently battled the virus and I just said the last goodbye to my aunt who passed away from the disease only days before school started.
I’ve found this piece difficult to write because I realized my story isn’t all that different from the next parent and I’ve struggled with figuring out what this article can offer to the reader. I’m not the only parent making hard decisions about their children’s education this year. I’m not the only one feeling certain they’ve made the right choice one minute and fighting waves of guilt the next minute for not being able to quit work and begin homeschool. I’m definitely not the only parent worried that our healthy children could become deathly ill or pass on the illness to a family member with a compromised immune system. What makes my story any different from yours?
Maybe that’s what I have to offer with this column. A parent sharing the same worries and woes that you’re facing. A reminder that we are still all in this together, for better or worse.
Every couple of weeks, I’ll check in with a new article about how the school year is going from one mom’s perspective. I would also like to share your story in this column. Share how your kids’ school year is going and I may reach out to you for an interview to be featured here.