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Sorry this isn’t going to be a happy post but I needed somewhere to put these feelings. I’m just feeling really sad right now. We got accepted today back into the homeschool charter we’ve been with for the last 4 years – yay! But now that I got that official acceptance I had to officially withdraw from the school my kids were planning to go to this year. We were all SO excited about this school year because this new school had so many really awesome programs. They would let us keep homeschooling using pretty much whatever curriculum we wanted, but with 1 day a week with the kids going to school and getting to be with friends, another half day a week of a real world adventures and planned field trips. I was going to have 1 day a week at home with just my 2 year old! The kids have been so excited, especially my 11 year old who has really struggled since the start of COVID as his friends have outgrown him a little bit and he doesn’t have great outlets to go make new ones. This school year was going to be awesome!

… But then the new plans came out for the year. The half day adventures and the field trips have been cancelled for the year. The on campus days were all going to be totally socially distanced (wearing masks, 6 feet apart from the other kids all day long – the right call for the situation at hand, but it sounded like the most miserable way to spend a day). While we were considering all of that our previous charter school announced changes to their funding that basically opened up an extra $1200 in reimbursement for educational supplies for our family… which pushed us over the edge. It wasn’t necessarily that extra amount in and of itself, but it gave us enough pause to *really* look at the two options side by side and see what the trade offs were with circumstances as they are. When we really considered it we knew we had to withdraw from the new school and go back to our old school.

I feel like it’s a little hard to be sad about something like this though. We are SO blessed! I’m not being pushed into homeschooling against my will. I actually feel so comfortable homeschooling and have been able to help some other families get their bearings in unfamiliar territory. We’ve all been healthy. We have a safe place to live, steady employment, family that we love. We have amazing technology to keep us connected and great support systems that we can reach out to. I’ve been grateful to live in a state that has allowed us quite a bit of freedom while giving strong guidelines and leadership to curb the spread of this disease. (I know I have friends who will disagree with this on both sides, but I’m still grateful and that disagreement isn’t the point of this post, pick another post for that battle 😉 ) I have a great yard, a house with lots of diversions, friends to connect with, family to visit with, technology savvy to get through all this… but I’m still sad.

In a parenting book I read recently it emphasized the importance of recognizing your child’s feelings and not brushing them off or putting them down. The guidance was to accept them, name them and validate them. I think it’s important for us to do this with ourselves too even as adults. I’m not saying to dwell on negatives and put yourself in a downward spiral. However, I think there’s importance in recognizing and saying “I’m sad and this is hard.”

It’s been almost funny the things through this pandemic that have gotten me to small breaking points. Back in April I was putting together snack bags for my kids for general conference. I wasn’t able to go out to the store and as I was putting their bags together I realized I didn’t have Capri Suns. I never have Capri Suns, but it’s something that I usually will get special just for General Conference. It was the dumbest thing to be upset about, but in the moment that was super hard for me. It wasn’t really about the Capri Suns, but it represented that I didn’t have the ability to give my kids the things I wanted to be able to give them. Stability, safety, fun – it was a mark of my lack of control in the world and it was a really hard realization. (Don’t worry, we had a miracle of the loaves and fishes and I was able to cobble together snack bags from things I didn’t even know I had and some random drink mixes took the place of the Capri Suns in the end – my kids didn’t even know they were missing)

That’s sort of how I’m feeling now. What I wanted to be able to give to my kids – and thought I *would* be able to give to my kids – has been taken away. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s lots of things out of anyone’s control. It’s just hard. We have other great options, but I’m still sad about it. I will be ok. I can see all the bright sides of what we can do instead and it really is going to be fine. But I’m still sad, and it’s ok to be sad. It doesn’t have to be the biggest thing to be sad about. Being sad is not a contest. It’s ok if you’re sad over something big and I’m sad over something small. We’re still both allowed to be sad and my sadness doesn’t diminish your sadness, nor does your sadness negate mine. They’re just the feelings we have and we’re allowed to have them.

I just thought I should post this because I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way. This is hard. It is ALL hard. Regardless of who you are or where you’re at I’m sure there are things that you’ve lost in this pandemic – whether it’s loved ones, or trips, or school choices, or a feeling of safety, or even just some Capri Suns. It’s hard. It’s ok to feel like it’s hard. It’s ok to be sad about those things that you’ve lost – whether they’re big things or little things. It’s ok to be sad about the little things too. We will get through this, and I believe we will all be better and stronger for it. But right now, it’s ok to recognize your sadness, your sense of loss, and give it its proper place before you let it go. {Hugs} to all of you out there in whatever hard things you’re facing. I believe in you, you can make it ?