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I’m struggling. And I hesitate to talk about it because I feel like we’re supposed to be over this.

Over talking about Covid.

Over thinking about masks.

Over wondering what we should do.

But I’m not over it.

I thought I was, but I’m not.

We decided to send our kids back to school in person in the fall. It’s time. They are ready. We had a great year at home, but the itch for normalcy is there and it needs to be scratched.

I felt good when I clicked the box on all of the forms saying they would be attending school in person.

And then the mask mandate was lifted, and the Delta variant hit, and now I wonder how to move forward.

My husband, myself, and our two oldest children are vaccinated, but our two littles aren’t old enough. And with the mask mandate lifted, I wonder what it will look like for them next year at school.

Because the virus still exists.

And they can still catch it.

And they can still spread it.

RELATED: There Are No ‘Right’ Decisions About School This Year So Please Just Be Kind

I’m not talking about living in fear, because I’m not.

I am talking about another incidence of this virus being hard to deal with. I am talking about the struggle bus I’m on.

I know we are sending them back, but it doesn’t feel right to send them without their masks. And at the same time, I also don’t want them to feel like they are alone on a mask island. 

I don’t know how many other parents are struggling with this, but if you are, please know you aren’t alone with your struggle.

This isn’t easy.

And even though we want it to all go away and be over, it hasn’t and it’s not.

Is it better? Yes.

It is gone? No.

So we need to keep making the choices that are best for our families and moving forward as best we know how. We need to treat others with kindness and dignity and respect, knowing we don’t know their family history, or stories, or what has led them to make the choices they have.

RELATED: 5 Days of Prayer For Our Nation’s Schools

So if you happen to see some children walking into school on the first day with masks on, don’t look at them weird. Be kind. And remember, their parents have made the choice they feel is best for them and their families.

Which is what we have all been doing since this started, right?

It’s what we’ve all been doing since the moment our precious babies were put into our arms.

This isn’t easy.

So let’s go easy on each other.

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Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

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