The last day of school. Normally, this day is filled with boisterous kids running around the school with backpacks overflowing with an entire year of papers, projects and school supplies. Teachers desks are filled with flowers, coffee mugs, and homemade cards. Parents are picking up their children with tears in
their eyes because another year has passed by so quickly (or some because they are now stuck with their kids all summer).
However, that was pre-COVID-19. This year’s last day of school consisted of parents driving in a line while teachers handed students a garbage bag of their school belongings – saying good-bye through a car window. Not the best end to my daughter’s fourth-grade year, but it still provided some sort of closure to the unusual circumstances of the past two months – something we both needed.
More momentous was one of my daughter’s final projects – a 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule. This was a booklet that included pages she filled out about how she was feeling during this time, pictures of her activities during quarantine, and what she did to celebrate special occasions. Also, among the pages, was one for my husband and me to fill out – a letter from her parents. It took us weeks to fill out our portion. Well, it took me weeks to fill it out. My husband would have written the letter in a few minutes – straight and to the point. However, I tend to overthink things. How could I provide a meaningful explanation of what was going on in the world? I wanted my daughter to look back in 20 years, read my
letter and understand the historical significance of the pandemic we were living through. But how do I put into words something I truly don’t understand? After pondering this for way too long, I finally put pen to paper and decided to focus on the resilience I saw in my 10-year-old. While life right now has been a struggle, she met the challenge and adapted to everything with stride. Her imagination, energy, and sweet dance moves made social distancing easier on the whole family. I reminded her of the more than 50 letters she wrote to high-risk people who were unable to have visitors. I wrote how proud I am of her and that one day she will look back on this time and know that she is a stronger person because
of the obstacles she overcame.
She is likely not thinking about the significance of this time in history. Her 10-year-old world revolves around friends and fun, as it should be. She is counting down the days when she can reunite with her
friends without any restrictions and just be a kid. I am praying for that day to come soon as well. But I do hope in 10 or 20 years, she will read our letter and remember she battled through a significant period in history and came out on top.
I am also hoping for an “A” on our portion of the project.