I remember being so excited to register our son for pre-kindergarten. We were so excited! It was every day and free, what more could you ask for? I remember going to the information session, so excited and knowing I was right where I needed to be, and my son was going to be going to school in fall 2020. Placing our son in school was not as simple as I thought. March 2020 hit and everything took a turn. Come April I was very open-minded and thought by September this Covid-19 thing will be over. We live in Saskatchewan – nothing bad ever comes here! So, we enrolled him in school. The days went on and so did the virus. Well, August 2020 came, and guess what? Covid-19 was still here, people were very sick, and people were dying. The world as we knew it, had changed.
As a mother of two small children and working in the ICU and Emergency Department at this time, I knew I had to weigh the risks and rewards of sending our child to school. What were the risks? He could contract Covid-19, become sick and spread the sickness within our family, and, more importantly, to someone more vulnerable to become very sick and possibly die. The risk seemed huge. I had to dig deeper. What were the chances of him contracting the virus? What was the average age of people who were being infected? If he wore a mask at school would that reduce the risk? What protocols were being put in place at the school? How many other students were in the class? I gathered all of the information I could. Yes, I became “that mom” calling the school and needing answers on how they planned to keep my child safe.
What was the reward? Our son has a medical condition called “Cutaneous Maculopapular Mastocytosis”, the long and short of this is it is very rare, and it affects him in ways that we don’t completely understand yet. Regardless, we felt the school would be very beneficial for him in regards to self-esteem and the development of his speech and communication skills. Socialization, learning new skills, emotional regulation, sharing, independence away from mom and dad are just a few of the essential skills he would start developing.
Ultimately, we decided to send him to school in the fall of 2020. In the last 4 months, our son has learned new songs, he has learned how to count, and he can finally recognize a letter in his name. Let me tell you, I have been trying to work with him for months on learning how to spell his name, and he would more often than not shut down with me. Since going into a new learning environment we are being told he is thriving and achieving amazing things. Another amazing part is he is having fun every day in school! When we pick him up from school, he always has such positive stories about how his day went.
I feel putting him in school in 2020 was the right decision and feel that, in our case, the rewards have outweighed the risks.
Life is full of difficult decisions. Life is always changing. Life is life. As humans, we are always having to decide what is the best decision for us at this time, what path we should take, and what happens if we make the wrong decision. We have to believe in our hearts that we are making the correct and most informed decisions, but it’s ok when we sometimes make the wrong one. Stay positive, the universe will guide and protect us when making these decisions. Listing out “risks” and “rewards” seemed to work for me. This is not the only way to critically make decisions; there are many tools we can explore to help with this. Take some time to think about where you want to go in life. Don’t make any decisions in the heat of the moment.
What do you want in life? What is “worth it” to you? What are your beliefs and values?
Hope you enjoyed this blog. Stay tuned for the next blog