Take a Breath
Published in

Take a Breath

A night like this

On a night like this I am flooded with memories of my toddler running around the house giggling and playing. Thinking of the times she would soon be entering the school’s playgrounds and learning her ABCs.

Now is the night before 5th grade is over.

Tomorrow is her last day as an official 5th grader. I can’t believe elementary school is over and it’s on to middle school.

I can’t believe her 5th grade year ended in a pandemic that would have them be homeschooled since March 13.

Never in my wildest dreams would I fear getting sick at school over a possible school threat.

But here I am. A mom of a 5th grader who not only taught her child through distance learning with her teachers, but also taught two college classes and her full time job as an instructional lab tech.

All the 5th grade expectations especially the ones promised to these amazing kids all gone.

My heart is broken for the kids that didn’t get to experience that 5th grade field trip or the party with their class. To signing yearbooks and spending time with their beloved teachers before moving on to middle school.

Not only is 5th grade a life changing year because of transition to 6th but add pandemic on it and it’s been a non-stop rollercoaster.

These kids deserve so much more. I wish I could give them the parties, trips, time with their teachers and friends and signing yearbooks.

These kids had unbelievable pressure placed on their tiny shoulders to continue learning in a home environment some not even safe to be in.

They were told they had to do assignments and that they would be graded. So not only adding outside pressures from school now they have inside pressures from their households who have its own dynamics.

On a night like this I wonder how many kids didn’t get meals, hugs, good sleep, wellness checks and more.

I wonder how many kids pleaded with God to send them back to school where they were safe from their households.

I wonder how many parents cried tears of frustration trying to help their child through work they may not have understood. That was me with math…what is this common core box method anyway? I know it now but at the beginning I along with other parents were probably like WTF.

So many questions right, parents?

But on a night like this I can’t help to think how freaking amazing my kid and all these kids are.

They did school during a PANDEMIC! Hello!

Not an easy task at all. Not for her, not for me and definitely not for the teachers and administrators of the schools.

Can you imagine sending your 800 kids home to do school every day?

Teachers and Administrators know our kids on so many different levels. I am sure because I am a teacher that I worried about every single one of my students. EVERY SINGLE ONE!

You know why…because we know they face not only personal hardships, specific learning patterns and much more.

These kids deserve to have time with their teachers. Just a bit of time. They are shown love by their teachers in ways us parents could never.

On a night like this I wish this could have ended differently but I know that my family is safe, healthy and grateful.

I know my little girl is so sad because she misses her school, classmates, a best friend (who is moving out of state), principal, vice principal, teachers, secretary, custodian, clubs, cafeteria workers and more.

On a night like this I told her we are human and allowing ourselves to be sad and grieve what we lost is good. It’s healthy to cry and feel.

My goodness we don’t tell our kids or even ourselves that enough. It’s OK to CRY AND FEEL!

On a night like this though I would change it all to make her be able to experience all the things I got to I recognize her story is different.

I recognize how much time I would have never got to spend with her if we were not both at home.

I believe that this time was given to me to recognize specific qualities, interest and personality that my girl has. Things that I never really got to see if I was working or in a meeting.

On a night like this I am grateful for the season though stressful.

I am grateful for the time I have been given with her to see her grow before middle school. I usually only get the two months I am off to really get to spend the time. Now I get to have 5 full months.

All of this has not been easy for a ten year old but man does my child know how to persevere and push through.

A night like this makes you cherish the time and know that tomorrow 5th grade will come to an end and a new chapter of schooling will be here before we know it.

For now it is all gratitude.

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Alicia Edquist

Alicia Edquist

Daughter. Wife. Mom. Friend. Journalist. Journalism Instructor. STORYTELLER. Beach Lover.