So much seems frozen right now, but my toddler keeps growing. School can be postponed, but his development can’t.
My two-year-old enjoys saying “pandemic.”
He says it loudly, with a smile, because he knows the word is important. He understands that what he calls “conavinus” is the reason playgrounds are closed.
He’s adapting. Brief backyard visits to family are normal now. He has stopped running to his grandparents for hugs. He even wore his mask for five whole seconds once.
His preschool interview was online instead of in person. After he showed the teacher his toys, he turned on his favorite Queen song at high volume and ran around the room, me chasing behind with the phone.
So much seems frozen right now, but my toddler keeps growing. Every week he is less baby and more boy. More verbal, more active, more independent. It’s not just the isolation of our pandemic lives that’s pushing this, it’s his age.
He’s excited about school. Having a teacher, meeting new friends. A few months from now he will be ready to navigate his classroom, unpack his own lunch, start discovering the bigger world.
Even before the pandemic, I would have had mixed feelings about this transition. It’s my job to keep my son safe, and going to school means life starts to open up to him in ways I can’t foresee. It will expose him to wonderful things, but it also means he is closer to learning hard truths.
If school opens this fall, there will be daily temperature checks, physical distancing with classmates and teachers. No parents inside the building. Staggered shifts on the playground. All of that will become normal to him. He will adapt.
I hope it is safe for schools to open. It’s time for my son to take the next step, whatever that looks like. School can be postponed, but his development can’t.