‘How was your first day of school, honey?’ He mumbled, ‘The mask was hard.’ Inside, I felt so much sadness.’: Mom thanks school staff, ‘You are leading with your hearts, and it shows’

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“My son’s first day of school was this week. After hemming and hawing over whether or not to send him to school, I decided with certainty we would keep him home…until I changed my mind.

So, we took him to school, with my heart racing and my son looking nervous and excited. We met the teacher, masks and all. And I waved goodbye to him as he walked into his classroom and found a seat.

I thought about him constantly during the day. How was he doing? Would he like his teacher, his peers, his classroom? So much uncertainty.

And so of course when the school bell rang at 3 p.m. my heart lurched in excitement to see him coming my direction, his mask hanging from his ears by a thread.

I tried to hold back from the zillion questions I had ready to burst out of me. I decided to start with the simple.

‘How was your day, honey?’

He mumbled through his mask, and I wasn’t quite sure what he said. At first, I thought he said, ‘The math was hard.’ I looked up to his teacher who was standing there and repeated his concern.

‘We didn’t do math today, silly!’ she giggled.

And as we walked out together my son took off his mask with relief and said, ‘I said the MASK was hard.’

And I laughed at the misunderstanding, but inside I felt so much sadness. The mask is really hard! Everything about this time is so very hard.

But dammit, I’m so proud of him for trying. I’m so impressed with his teacher for managing a classroom of six-year-olds who all find the masks, the social distancing, even the closed playground — so freakin’ hard.

We can do hard things. Our kids can do hard things. And when we work towards doing the best we can with the time and tools available — when we lead with our heart, it shows.

To the school administrators.

To the teachers.

To the janitors, nursing staff, front desk, and administration.

And to the kids.

This is so hard. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. Or was it going to work at all? I went to school that morning needing to see it for myself. But you are doing it and leading with your hearts.

And it shows.”

Courtesy of Celeste Yvonne

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Celeste Yvonne of The Ultimate Mom Challenge. You can follow her journey on InstagramSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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