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Challenge: Back to School 2020

On the night before virtual learning begins

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Tomorrow morning will be a new adventure for us both. We will try something that has never been done before.

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We will absolutely make mistakes and we will fail. We will dislike some things and love others. We will feel overwhelmed at times and wish we could go back to the “old way”. However right now, the old way isn’t possible - the old way just simply can’t work.

The good news is we are not alone. Thousands of children from all over will be opening up their lap tops and tuning in to their new grade and classes. They too will be doing something that is so different that it scares people. I would even bet that their combination of confusion and excitement feels pretty similar to yours.

And just like you, they will be venturing with new teachers, classmates and schedules. It may look very different, but thankfully you will still learn about math, reading, languages and art, and even find new ways to discover the world of books with your school librarian.

It will most definitely be a change from what you are used to, and may even feel very strange. Yet I promise you, we will make it work. We will do our best to have fun and simply learn.

You will miss being face to face with the people around you and of course you will want to play with your friends. At times this type of learning will make you sad and make you feel like you want more - and really that’s ok.

It’s really alright to not like everything about what is happening. These few months have been hard on all of us, we have all experienced change that has felt wrong and unfair.

However life is not always about getting what you want when you want it. You have to roll with the punches and find ways to adapt. That’s simply a part of growing up, it’s simply the way that life works.

And in case it wasn’t evident from my frantic planning and (sometimes) short temper...I am also very nervous for this new chapter. I have a job with significant responsibilities, and I have no idea how I will juggle it all. I lay awake at night some days wondering what new challenges will be thrown our way in the coming weeks. I feel plagued with the swirling question of “How?”

Yet what normally pulls me out of the spinning is that I get to be with you. The magic of this time together feels important.

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No part of this scenario was ever imagined for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we would be so connected to you in this way. I never once thought I would get to be a direct part of your schooling...and yet here we are.

This summer has had its ups and downs, but overall it really was incredible. From here on out we will remember it as the summer we got to spend together. The summer we found ways to thrive as a family without trips, parties and constant obligations. The summer that was really like no other.

I approach tomorrow with a heart full of hope. I truly believe there is so much to discover and so much for us to learn.

These past few months have challenged even the smartest people in the world. We are all doing the best we can in a time that has no guiding past to push us towards the right answers. We are in many ways winging it, and learning as we go.

So that is how I plan to approach tomorrow. I will look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow with you. I believe it will be a time in our lives that we will never forget.

Now I know we will struggle and there will most likely be tears from both of us. However the time we spend figuring it out and finding new ways to adapt will hopefully help us grow in ways we didn’t even know was even possible.

Our lives will never be the same after tomorrow. From here on out we will live with this new knowledge and these new skills sets that come with doing something you have never done before.

So let’s both take a deep breath and dive in. There is much waiting for us both, and I just can’t wait to be by your side learning right there with you.

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