Schools are closed across the nation, kids are learning virtually at home, and parents are doing their best to juggle all of their new roles. We worry that they are falling behind, or that they are missing out on so much, learning from home rather than at school. We put pressure on ourselves to find other ways to challenge our kids, when virtual school only takes them 2 hours a day. We wonder if we are doing this right.
But friends, there is no “right.” To quote Frozen 2, all we can do is the “next right thing.” And that is good enough. I have loved the posts on Facebook lately that have focused on this fact, that the most important thing we can do is make home a place that is safe, where we can help our kids deal with the tidal wave of emotions that inevitably comes from an event of this magnitude. And we can know that in the midst of all of the chaos, our kids are growing in ways that cannot be measured in grades or trophies. That our kids will come out of this disaster as the leaders this country will need in the future. What if, instead of being behind, these kids are ahead?
The original blog post can be found on a blog called “Altogether Mostly,” but there have been many variations of the original floating around Facebook, including one by Ruth Ann Ahnen. I would like to share some of them here.
I truly believe our kids are going to be ok. I believe they are learning more, watching us navigate this worldwide crisis.
What if, instead of falling behind, this generation of kids is moving ahead because of this?
What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing?
What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard, and sitting near a window in the quiet? What if they notice the beauty in nature instead of a screen?
What if they learned to be ok by themselves and with their thoughts?
What if they learned their value comes from who they are, and not their productivity and busyness?
What if this generation is the one to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?
What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less?
What if they learned that it is ok to pause and enjoy quiet?
What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?
What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants, and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers, and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?
What if they learn the joy that can be found in putting others first, and looking for ways to help?
What if they grow a deep gratitude for all they have in this life?
What if they learn patience, endurance, and steadfastness in the face of trials?
What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?
What if they are ahead?