LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER – FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL AFTER QUARANTINE

 

Zoe’ Outfit : Pippa and Julie Alice in Wonderland dress, Pediped mary-janes

Last week Zoe resumed her school, four months after the lockdown started. Getting to the decision of having her go back to school was a tough one. I’ve had many sleepless nights going over so many questions, reading numerous articles, talking to a lot of parents, even our doctor. Never in our wildest ideas had we thought that we would be in such a situation, where the entire world would be riddled with such a situation. Lockdown, quarantine, social distancing – these were words we had never encountered. And here we are, as parents taking decisions about whether your child should go to school or remain for another session at home. What about meeting so many people. Will kids wear masks? And how would office and house work be managed. Do online session even work for kids at this age ( less than 3 year olds ). And how do you keep a toddler away from their friends. How do you meet friends but ask kids to keep distance. SO many questions. Should we keep the children home one more session and see what happens. All valid and all tough ones.

After I shared last on social media that we were resuming school, there were numerous messages I received regarding the how, why, when, whats behind that decision. I completely get it – I spent four weeks, every minute of the the four weeks to get to that point. Knowing the state required measures and the school’s detailed plan was very helpful and that got us thinking about that we could explore going back to school.  We had numerous questions and went over every detail, every measure in depth with the school administration. The other factor that we considered was that we have started  meeting a few friends. Its a limited group – but that opens up the circle from what we were in the first  three months – i.e. completely quarantined / socially isolated. I also spoke to our doctor and took his advice. Although this is not a medical decision – I wanted to get the thoughts of someone  who I trust completely. His thoughts resonated with our thinking. Some families have resumed, it’s at half capacity than previously and it makes us so happy to see the kids having so much fun and being excited to be back.

This decision is different for each family. So many factors to consider. Every person has a different threshold for meeting people and everyone has a different situation. So it is a truly personal decision. Whatever decision you make – know that there are people doing this way or another way or a hybrid way. None of them are right or wrong. Just what works for each family.

The night before Zoe was going back to school, I was very emotional. And sat down to pour my heart from that moment.

Zoe – I am so emotional today. You go back to school tomorrow.
These last four months have been a true gift to me – the time that I got to spend to with you.
Our routines intertwined throughout the day, getting to see you play, eat, learn new things.
Not just the bare few hours in the evening when I came back from office and you came from school – but the entire day together.

I hadn’t appreciated the time we had together when you came in our lives and I had a few weeks from work. I was learning to figure this new life together with you, I was in pain and going through so much then. But these months, that this quarantine period gave us together – you are a grown up girl. We have become friends.

Ofcourse, there were times during this period when I complained about being tired and was utterly overwhelmed and frustrated.
There were times when I broke down because I couldn’t handle everything. There were times when I couldn’t wait for you to go back to school.
There were times when I felt I was failing so badly at being a mother, failing at work, at the house stuff, at being addy’s friend.

I have cried with guilt and fatigue and stress.
In those moments, I’ve seen you emerge as my daughter, my friend bringing me your blanket and bunny – the things that comfort you. Even when I told you that I am going to miss you when you’ll go to school – your prompt response was ” I know mumma. but I have to go to school. and grown-up come back” ( yup – you’ve been watching a lot of #DanielTiger during these months )

I knew we would all go back to the routine soon. I dint realize it would be this soon. I have gotten used to having lunches together. And weaving stories trying to get you to nap during the afternoon.
Even loved the idea of you sleeping on my shoulders while I present during a meeting. And the sudden hugs and kisses and I love yous during the day.

It almost feels like you are going to college. Or like when I was leaving home to go to college and how my mom must have felt. I cant wait to see you in the evening when you come back from school and listen to all your stories, the non stop chatter.

I love you baby girl. Fly so high. .

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