“I’ve driven up to these doors many times over the past year but today was unlike any other.
As I turned into the drive of my daughter’s school, I found myself overcome with emotion. I felt my eyes welling up with tears as we drew closer to the front entrance.
I allowed my daughter to ride with me to the school to drop off her completed schoolwork packet.
The last nine weeks of the school year had been spent at home like every other kid in the world and this piece of the pandemic was over. School was finally over.
It brought on so many emotions.
Relief. So much relief I no longer had to teach my first grader simple concepts she often struggled to understand.
Anxiety. I immediately began to worry about now what? What will I do with her and her sister all summer to keep them busy? Thoughts of us continuing with her school work entered my mind so she won’t be behind due to some of those struggles.
Sadness. Strangely enough, I felt a bit of grief this thing we had between the two of us was gone. The time we made spent together, just she and I, was gone.
Gratitude. I felt so grateful for her school and teachers. Not just because they had helped us get through this but because of the way she longed to return to school. The way she yearned to see her teachers and hug them. The way she would talk about how much she missed her art and music class. All this showed me how safe and loved she felt there. For that, I am grateful.
But I think the biggest emotion I felt was pride. I looked at my sweet, tender-hearted daughter and I felt so very proud of her. She had been through so much.
She’s been in isolation from the outside world for months. She’s had to complete schoolwork in our living room. School became work and not fun. All the things she loves about school and her creative learning environment were gone.
Her mother became her teacher. And it was a struggle I wasn’t prepared for. She endured my frustrations and anger as I tried to get her to understand what seemed to me to be simple concepts but to her was Greek.
She took my yelling the points over and over when she couldn’t figure it out, each time cutting deeper and deeper into her self esteem. She wilted just a little more each time I’d get aggravated.
She would cry and plead at times just wanting to please me. Just wanting to do good, be good. She would try to hind the fact she didn’t understand in fear of upsetting me.
Not only does that break my heart but it makes me so proud. So extremely proud of her, because despite her mother’s fits and fights she did it. She did every assignment, every project, and read every book.
She did it.
Our children have been through an unprecedented time. They have mourned the loss of school activities, sports, their friends and teachers, and any resemblance of normal life. And on top of all that, their parents became their teachers.
As you finish up this school year, let’s all take a minute to salute our children for their sacrifices and hard work. This hasn’t been easy for them either.
Today we will play and celebrate the arrival of summer break with lots of fun, beautiful weather, and peaceful moments.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Emily Montgomery Hunt and originally appeared here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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