I started thinking about this piece a few days ago. One of the more amazing things with current times is how fast things are changing. We are in the midst of COVID-19. The novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020. What I was going to write a couple days ago has changed. The world has changed. I think we all want our world back
What a couple of days ago was a worry about the rest of the school year, and associated activities, has become a reality. The governor has declared the schools will remain closed the rest of the year. No more soccer – Josh and friends will not get a chance to play their senior season. No exams, as far as we know. We will find out more about IB later this week. Information on AP exams is coming out, likely something online.
Through this, I have seen several parents on Facebook post about their child’s loss of their Senior year. Many of these posts lament the loss of activities, prom, time with friends and graduation. Josh mentioned today seeing how several classmates were upset because they didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to their teachers. His response, “they’re not dead”.
Last week I asked Josh what his thoughts were about the possibility of missing the end of his Senior year (I didn’t even mention soccer at the time). He responded that he thought a lot of people weren’t seeing the big picture. That the pandemic was bigger than missing a prom or a few soccer games. He said years from now people will look back at this time and think about how they got through it, not what they missed.
Today, with the future made more official, I asked him again. He maintained that it wasn’t really that big of an issue. That he has played a lot of soccer and while he was looking forward to a good season, he has played with his friends for years and has enjoyed it. As for missed school activities, he has had a good year and isn’t worried about dances or even graduation. He understands these are unique times and circumstances and seems to be rolling with the punches pretty well.
This ability to see the big picture will help him as he progresses through college and into the real world. It is a talent to be able to step back, outside of the cloud of emotion, and see things from a different point of view. If he can practice that now, especially with the current circumstances, it will become a tool he can use as part of his standard way of dealing with situations and maturing.
This year is certainly unique. Much is still undecided as everyone is dealing with a reality for which there are no plans or playbooks. Both in adult life, and obviously with high school, sacrifices are being made and stress is rampant. The best we can do as parents is to help keep the calm and be supportive, even in the midst of our own anxieties. It is great to have a child who seems so able to deal with it and who isn’t overreacting to things none of us can control. We will get through this and probably never be the same, but can perhaps be better on the other side.