The children of Bexar County will be returning to school this month. Parents, just like myself, are faced with making a tough decision. Our children have been out of school since March 2020. The summer has been spent under quarantine watching media coverage of ever-increasing numbers. These uncertain times have caused us all to question “Am I doing the right thing sending my child to school?”
Personally, I find myself on the fence. I’ve observed my son over these last few months and he’s become quite accustomed to being a loner. I worry he isn’t receiving enough social interaction with children his own age. He’s naturally shy and the last thing I want is for him to further withdraw into his own shell. Previously we were very involved in our school’s community. Jesse played every sport and Mom and Dad served as coaches. Everything has changed and everyone has had to make sacrifices. I feel the kids have sacrificed the most. The children of San Antonio left for spring break only to never return to finish out the school year. The older kids can comprehend the severity of the pandemic and perhaps they can understand why things have evolved this way. My son is 6 years old. Even if I tried, I don’t feel he would fully understand what a pandemic is. All he knows is that he has to wear a mask when we leave our home and he can no longer go to school with his friends. My husband and I recently sat down with Jesse and we asked him what he would prefer: virtual or in-class learning? He immediately said he would rather go to school. I knew he missed his friends and his school community but hearing him admit to it hurt my heart. School is all he knows and when the school was shut down I didn’t think to have a discussion about it with him. I just naively assumed that he would be thrilled to stay home. Turns out, he feels like a huge part of his life was taken away.
Working in the health care industry has taught me about the disease process and I don’t take COVID-19 lightly. It truly is a real threat and I’ve seen how the virus affects the human body. It ain’t pretty, folks. I do not want my 6 year old to have to fight a virus for which we still don’t know much about. There is no cure and we are still far away from a vaccine. At the same time, I feel my son deserves to experience school life. I can certainly appreciate that nearly all schools in Bexar county are offering different options. Families can choose traditional on-campus learning, hybrid learning, or distance learning. On-campus learning is designed for the families who otherwise would have difficulty arranging for child care. By now, most schools have released plans for how they will navigate reopening the schools. Plans for disinfection, mask usage, and social distancing are naturally included. Hybrid learning involves a combination of traditional and distance learning. Distance learning involves the virtual setting where a child’s home would be the classroom.
I’ve struggled all summer trying to figure out what will be best for my son. I don’t want to risk exposure but at the same time, I don’t have the means to keep my son at home due to work obligations. To be honest, I still don’t have the answer. Whatever I do decide, however, doesn’t make me any less of a mother. You can decide to send your child to school and still be a good mother. You can decide to keep your child home and still be a good mother. Regardless of the choice you make, YOU ARE STILL A GOOD MOTHER. Do what works for your family and don’t let negativity impact your decision. Together, we will get through this!
Con mucho carino,