This is a tricky time of year for me. I’m flooded with mommy memories of back-to-school transitions – both the tears when it was time for kindergarten and the weightiness of saying a final goodbye after a college move in.
I think about parents crossing those symbolic divides when August turns to September. Sure, there’s joy and excitement, but there are so many other emotions. Sorrow sits in the mix along with anxiety but increasingly more palpable is fear – worries about protecting our children when they’re beyond our reach. Back-to-school traditionally summons a woozy, unsettled feeling for some parents, but this is different.
Why? Generations of parents have done this dance. I’m one of them. But there’s much more at stake today. Have you seen this piece, written by Katie Gutierrez for Time? Reflecting on the compounding fears for parents she writes:
If having children can sometimes feel like a radical act of hope, entrusting them to the world can feel like the stupidest act of faith. I do not trust this world. And yet, what is the alternative?
I feel that. Especially today when safety cannot be taken for granted. Whether it’s senseless gun violence or the savagery of a global pandemic, Katie’s lament “I do not trust this world” is painful to read. But I understand it. And my heart hurts for parents like Katie who are doing their best to move through the back-to-school transitions with as much grace as possible. If that’s you, know that I’m sending love.