You’re starting your very first day of kindergarten during a global health pandemic. Nothing is normal right now. Your parents are struggling to hold it all together. We’ve dreamt of your first day of school since the day you were born. We imagined going school shopping with you, standing in the school supply aisle of Walmart, letting you pick out your own Paw Patrol folder for your homework and checking off items on the classroom list. We thought we’d lay out a crisp new outfit for you to wear in the morning that you picked out yourself. We pictured snapping a photo of you with a cheesy grin on your face Monday morning. We envisioned sticking homemade sticky notes in your lunch box. We practiced holding back tears while walking you to your classroom for the very first time, feeling your small hands gripping ours tightly as we navigate a new hallway, and kissing you on the cheek before hugging goodbye.
We dreamt of picking you up from school that first day and listening to you chatter about new friends, the silly things the teacher did, and the colors of the cubbies where you put your backpacks.
This isn’t the first day of school that we got. We’re sorry if we seem on edge. We’re sorry for repeating the same things a million times. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Don’t get too close to people. No hugs. Air high-fives only.
We took away your play dates. We took away your birthday parties. We took away your museums, your theme parks and your zoos.
Now you’re being told to start your school life at home on a computer. We’re asking you to learn software, typing skills and online etiquette overnight. We’re asking you to sit in front of a screen and focus on school work for six hours every day.
We’re sorry you don’t get to experience kindergarten the way we did, the way you thought it would be, the way we dreamt it would be, the way it should be. Kindergarten sets the tone for the next 13 years of academia. We can only hope and pray that you will learn to love it, regardless of the circumstances.
There’s a lot of turbulence in the world right now, but there is one thing we parents know for certain: our children have a solid footing on it. Class of 2033, you have already proven that you are resilient. This pandemic is only making you stronger. You will probably be the biggest movers and shakers this world has ever seen. I see your hearts filled with empathy, your minds thirsty for knowledge, your souls bursting with kindness. You are a troop of survivors. Your willingness to embrace change and practice patience will take you places we cannot even imagine right now.
So, Class of 2033, as you start your very first school year, know that your parents are trying very hard to make it special. We love you with all of our being and we just want to see you happy and successful. We are in mourning of what your first day of kindergarten should have been. We are anxious. We are scared. We are confused. However, you will never see any of that on our faces. You are handling the pandemic so much better than us. We are proud of you.
With all of our love,
Parents of the class of 2033