Optimism and Dinosaur Masks 

 September 10, 2020

We’re living in unprecedented times. Day-by-day life looks completely different now than it did six months ago, especially schooling. I’m sure lots of other parents, guardians, and educators can say the same.

Choosing how my children’s education would look for the next short (hopefully) while was not easy. I had to ask myself questions such as, “should I send my kids back to school? Should I keep them home and have them engage in online learning?”

Eventually, I decided to enroll my kids in school. 

But before I jump into that, I want to acknowledge all of the parents and guardians who did not have the privilege of choice in this matter. My heart goes out to the single parents trying to juggle kids, school, and work during this time, lower-income families who are taking this day by day, and anyone else who, because of their circumstance, did not get to choose how their children’s education would unfold.

These past few months have been far from ideal. But, there’s always surprises.

Of course, enrolling my kids in school meant they would be required to wear a mask during portions of the day, and I was surprised to find out how okay my youngest son, Lucas, is with it. He’s even excited about it, so much that he wears the mask in the van even though he doesn’t have to. 

Here is a photo of Lucas before his first day back at school.

I mentioned my son’s eagerness to wear a mask to my co-worker, who was also surprised to find out how much joy her daughter finds in wearing a dinosaur-themed mask. Who knew masks could be so fun? 

After hearing from many other parents who noticed the same thing, I began to realize that my kids were showing me how we’re meant to handle change.

With optimism

But they didn’t only show me that I needed to change my perspective. They showed me how

  • Find joy in the little things– whether it be working wi-fi, a warm cup of tea, or even a dinosaur mask, try to find a small piece of joy in every day.
  • Be open-minded– remind yourself that change can bring a lot of opportunity. Maybe this time has forced you to engage with your creative side as you come up with fun at-home activities for the kids. Or maybe you’ve been able to spend a lot more time at home with your family.
  • Be patient – remember that you can make it through this. Every storm must pass.

I think that now, more than ever, it’s incredibly important that we practice optimism in our everyday lives as parents. I’m sure that if I notice how my kids are adapting to this season of change, they also notice how I am reacting to it. 

Let’s show our kids that even in the middle of change, we can still find joy. Let’s remind our kids that there’s always a reason to smile every day. Finally, let’s show our kids what it means to be optimistic.

I want to extend a huge thank you to all of the administrators and educators who are pouring endless hours of effort into making our children’s schools a place of positive learning. Thank you for all that you do.

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