My husband and I built a house in 2020. I distinctly remember telling him when it was time to move, I wanted the kids to go stay with family. I didn’t want them to have to be in the middle of the chaos that is moving. I wanted them to come home and see their rooms unpacked. To find comfort in their new home right away.
In retrospect, this is hilarious. And, ridiculous.
We moved in April 2020. In the eye of the storm. With lockdowns in place, we had little help and were certainly not sending our littles to stay with family. The kids, they were right in the center of the chaos - carrying boxes and sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
What I learned this year, and I continue to learn, over and over, is that we can’t shield those we love from the storm. Whether that storm is figurative or a literal derecho. We must sit in the dark hallway with the fear until the storm has passed.
In 2019, we made the decision to keep our daughter at her small private school for kindergarten. We assumed, when it was time to transition her to the public school she’d attend for first grade and beyond, we’d have the ability to tour the school. We’d attend an open house and acquaint ourselves with the teachers and school. We were wrong.
When her first day came this year, I walked her to the front door of the school. That was it. She was on her own. My six-year-old was masked-up, walking into a building neither one of us had ever entered, being greeted by people we had never met. She turned to me, with tears in her eyes and said; “Mom, I don’t know where I’m going!”
I cried the entire walk home.
When I picked her up that afternoon, I quickly noticed a different bounce in her step. She was walking with more confidence as she told me about the teacher she met when she got to school that morning. She told me every turn she took to get to her classroom.
This is what I'm learning. We can't shield ourselves from the storm. We have to feel the cold darkness. To cry on the walk home. To allow the fear to fill our eyes and bubble over. Because only then will we be able to walk out of this year, with a different bounce in our step. With a little more confidence. Telling each other every turn we took to get there.