For the past few months, my daughter’s developed a sort of stutter. Before it was less noticeable but now she struggles to get a word in when explaining something.
At first I thought it was because she’s been cooped up at home during lockdown, away from her friends and school. She’s only five but I felt continuously guilty for denying her the simple things like playing with friends. Maybe not being in a social environment exacerbated the issue?
So when her school sent a message saying they’d be opening at the beginning of August, I felt relief. I wanted her to resume a life as close to normal as possible. For my own selfish reasons, it was also for my sanity. Homeschooling and working from home had me feeling exhausted and frustrated.
And so we started plotting her return to school with as little upset as possible. But then the night before I struggled to sleep. The anxiety got too much for me. And then the questions started. Was I doing the right thing by sending her back? We’re in the middle of a pandemic; is it too soon? What if she gets sick no matter how careful the school is? Will it be my fault then?
The school, which operates independently, had sent a list of the protocols, all of which they abided to when I dropped her off the next morning.
There were still tears – more me than her.
I sat in the car outside the school gates, wondering if I should just go in and fetch her. Instead I drove off and sent a silent prayer into the universe.
It’s only her first week back, and there have been some hiccups. I’m still paranoid and I’m anxious. But looking at her when she returns from school is enough to know that we’ve made the right decision – for now.
Who knows, ask me in a few months’ time and I’ll probably say she’s back at home. For the time being, she’s happy and that’s all the confirmation that I need.