Everything about the upcoming school year feels wrong.
We're approaching the final stretch of summer, but plans haven't been finalized.
Not for our families, not for our schools.
Most of us haven't an inkling as to how we should proceed.
Nothing feels right.
Keeping schools closed feels wrong, but opening them feels equally wrong.
Sending kids to school during a pandemic feels wrong, but so does keeping them home.
The idea of our kids wearing masks feels wrong, while the thought of them NOT wearing masks feels wrong.
Social distancing within the walls and halls of school feels wrong, but so does allowing them to socialize normally.
Risking the physical health of teachers and students feels wrong, but so does risking jobs, educational needs, and emotional well-being.
Some of us have strong opinions about the decisions that need to be made, but many of us just feel paralyzed.
You're not wrong if you decide to send your kids to school this year.
You're not wrong if you decide to homeschool your kids this year.
You're not wrong if you decide to proceed with some combination of the two.
You're not wrong if you haven't decided what you're doing yet.
You're not wrong if you start down one route and end up on another.
You're not wrong if every decision you make is last minute. Or if you change your mind. Or if you just don't know what to do.
The only thing that's wrong is tearing down another parent for the decision they make. Or choosing to respond to another parent's decision in a derogatory or demeaning way.
The only thing that's wrong is the belief that you have all the answers, because I'm telling you—NO ONE has all the answers. Or that your decision is the only right one.
We all have a decision to make and many of us aren't sure what our final one will be.
But at a time when everything feels wrong, we can be people who make it feel a little more right by refraining from judgment and harsh words. We can make it a little more right by recognizing that different kids, different families, different people have different needs. We can make it a little more right by being supportive of our fellow parents and the teachers who have been tossed into a situation they never could have been prepared for. We can make it a little more right with kindness, compassion, and understanding.
We can make it a little more right by praying for wisdom and guidance. By using discretion before opening our mouths. By recognizing that not one of us is actually in control.
Everything about this school year feels wrong.
But we can make it a little more right by choosing our words wisely and making sure our actions are woven with grace.