Sandhya Acharya: End In Sight

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With the end of a hopefully never-to-be-repeated year perhaps in sight, Sandhya Acharya wonders what she will miss and what she won’t.

In a few days, my kids will be going back to in-person school. It’s been a long year. A year of no field trips, no racing each other around the tracks, no monkey bar throw downs, no impromptu bey-blade battles and no lunch-time shenanigans. As the end gets nearer, they seem more restless. There are more tantrums, more arguments, more-meltdowns. “Is this really happening?” they seem to ask.

Even as I manage these flare-ups I find myself in similar disbelief. Can I really stop waking up at unearthly hours just to catch some quiet time? Can I really drop my kids off and spend the rest of the day uninterrupted by calls for lost objects, iPad chargers and snacks? Can I stop constantly thinking about what to make for that next meal? And then, as I slowly give myself permission to relax, breathe, smile in anticipation, I feel a tug.

You see, this past year, when the kids log-in, I have often listened in stealth. I have danced to joyful songs, seen cuddly kittens purr into the screen, learned stuffy names and waited eagerly for story time. I have gotten used to break-time hugs, art-hour, making sun-catchers, forming marshmallow constellations and snuggling into blanket forts.

I have also learned how the teachers manage interruptions, listen to suggestions from 6-year-olds and keep them engaged even as they are reduced to just a face on the screen. How they redirect frustrations, empower and encourage kids even in such unnerving times.

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Our kids’ math and reading levels may have taken a hit, but school has been educational in a different sort of way not just for our kids but for us adults too. So, as we get ready to regain what this year took from us, maybe we should think about what it gave us too.

Maybe, it was time to admit that I might actually miss this year ... just not enough!

With a Perspective, I'm Sandhya Acharya.