A redshirt everything year

School supply shopping for Thomas: a new hose nozzle.

I called the school today and officially withdrew Thomas from kindergarten. I cried, of course. (I always cry.)

I waited as long as I could. Hoping, perhaps, that on September 2 I would wake up with news that everything was back to normal. Schools would open without masks or social distancing. My children would be welcomed onto the school bus with a warm smile from the driver, and into the classroom with a reassuring hug from their teacher.

I read an article recently that said that sometimes the people who are outspoken about their opinions because they are unsure of them. It is the quiet, relaxed person who is confident; no need to plaster every family gathering with their opinion.

Ooof. That stung.

I’ve literally never once passed on the opportunity to share my opinion.

It also stung because, even though I know this is the right decision for our family, I still feel really sad about it. Thomas is missing out on going to school the same year as many of his friends. Everything we had been looking forward to and planning for will sit on the sidelines until next year.

Thomas doesn’t care. He’ll spend the year playing with kinetic sand and chasing our chickens. He’ll play with the hose and distract his older brother and sister while they’re in school, in our dining room.

Speaking of them, they don’t care either.

They’ll start third and second grades, virtually, the day after Labor Day. I guarantee you that when they log on and I hear their teacher welcome them to the virtual classroom, I will duck into the kitchen to cry. (I always cry.)

Moments like this give me a chance to grieve everything that’s going on. My kids are missing the classroom, yes, but that is only the beginning. There is incalculable suffering as a result of this virus, with no end in sight. It is helpful to grieve.

My kids don’t care about virtual school because they don’t understand what they’re missing out on. They sort of think of this pandemic as a giant worldwide snow day; the longest spring break ever.

In fact, nearly six months into the greatest pandemic in modern history, my kids are relatively untouched. We are employed, nourished, and safe. That, I suppose, makes us some of the lucky ones.



  1. Sarah O September 2, 2020

    Now I’m crying. Thanks a lot.

    • amandakrieger September 3, 2020

      xoxoxooxoxox being a mom is tough heart work, isn’t it?

  2. Karen September 2, 2020

    Better save that photo of him with the sprinkler; he’ll probably become a PhD in Physics one day.
    What your kids receive in enrichment and learning is BTM (Better Than Montessori). They have learned to be learners and that’s what counts. Formal school is a good side gig but the real job of kids is to play and get along. Oh, and love reading. You are set.

    • amandakrieger September 10, 2020

      comments from you mean so much! i love that and will try to remember it when i get all up in my head about academics — formal school is a good side gig.
      and i agree, he’s going to use all that hose knowledge for amazing things one day!!

  3. Taylor N September 3, 2020

    My first child is starting kindergarten this year and I’m so grieved it’s not a normal year too. We’re sticking with virtual learning because it’s an option and we’re excited about the school. There are no easy choices. Praying for a supernatural joy to surprise us and take over with a great school year!

  4. Jennifer Bradley September 4, 2020

    I hope everything goes well as you guys start virtual school! This has been such a strange year.

  5. Sonia Seivwright September 4, 2020

    I know things will be hard to adjust in the first few months or so but things will get better. Virtual learning will get easier. Don’t worry We will get there.


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