I thought I was in the majority; it turns out, I'm in the minority.
Where I live, 70% of local families submitted their intent to return to in-person learning on August 24th.
I'm in the 26.5% who opted for *at least* one semester of e-learning.
A mere 3.5% chose the county's virtual option.
And let me follow that by saying that I do not judge anyone for their choice.
I don't think that any choice is 'more right' than another.
I don't even know if I am making the correct choice.
Still, it's the choice I made, 'cause I had to make one, and it's the one I am most at peace with.
Do you know what else I am at peace with?
You doing you and me doing me.
I'll say that again because there is too much judgmental hate making the rounds.
You are allowed to do what you feel is best, and I am allowed to do the same, and we both deserve the utmost respect and camaraderie from one another for parenting through a pandemic.
That's fudgin' surreal, right? That we have found ourselves having to love our little people good and hard and keep them safe and healthy, all while a periodically invisible virus plagues our country.
And, often, it makes me nuts.
I'll be the first to say that it's impressive that I'm not in the looney bin right now.
It's impressive that you've made it to 3 pm without pouring a glass wine.
It's impressive that he's continued to balance (yes, I'd call it that) work and home life.
It's impressive that none of us spends 95% of our day hiding in the closest, eating chocolate bars.
You're impressive, regardless of whether you are sending your kids to school or keeping them home, whether you feed your kids fast food or you've taught them all to cook for themselves every day, whether your kid has already finished their summer reading log, or they continue to log more screentime than you could have ever imagined.
You are doing you, and you're killin' it even if it feels like this madness is killing you.
I am doing me, and though I'm positive that I'm an imperfect mess, I'm my kids' imperfect mess, and they've told me that they don't really mind.
Parents have never always agreed on the best way to raise kids, and raising 'em during a global health pandemic has really brought to the surface just how different we all think.
I'm totally okay with that.
I've accepted it, and I understand it.
But there's a but --
I'm just fearful we're going to forget about each other.
And that your kids might forget about mine.
And that, well, that's scary as hell -- perhaps more so than actually catching or spreading the virus?
I'm not sure.
I just know that as worried as I am for my kids, husband, or myself to get sick and of us getting anyone else sick, I am just as terrified of the emotional toll all of this social distance is taking on those of us that have chosen to stay safer (closer to or) at home.
If you don't see me in walk-up drop-off line (Will they even have that option anymore?), then how will we have the mindless but honest morning chitchats that leave us both feeling just a little bit more seen, supported, and ready to take on the day?
If my kids aren't attending their brick and mortar, how can they partake in the elementary's mileage club, and if they can't, then I can't volunteer and if I'm not volunteering then how can I still feel like I am supporting my school, the teachers, and them?
I've been the Homeroom Mom for at least one of my kid's classes for the past seven years. This will be the first year I'm just a mom, at home, wandering the same few rooms.
Rooms that will have to be turned into classrooms.
Rooms I'll have to clean more often so that they are less distracting for my kids as they do their work.
Rooms the kids, and I will undoubtedly get tired of walking in and out of, day after day.
We won't be at dance competitions, and there will be no baseball practice for us.
Birthday parties will be too risky, and 'school spirit nights' will be missing my three loving, overly-spirited, pint-sized spirits.
But we're still here.
We're still around.
We just won't see you without a screen, a crap-ton of transparency, prep, and precautions, and nearly as often as we like.
So, I've got to ask this of you, and I don't care if it comes off as needy, because it is kind of a beg -- please don't forget about us.