For the last few weeks (erm, two months?) we’ve had some sad kids missing school and their friends. That physical distance and longing isn’t going to change any time soon (our state and particularly our county/surrounding area is still In It and unfortunately probably will be for some time yet). We still have yet to strike a balance for combating these lonelies, but after my biggest girl broke down a few weeks ago, we hatched a plan.
After RL got so upset after watching her brother zoom with his class, I asked if she’d like to write her teacher a letter. I thought it might help her feel more connected to school and she agreed. And I don’t know how I didn’t see this coming, but the very first question she asked me was, “Can I ask her to do a Zoom for our class?” to which I pulled a classic “We’ll see…” stalling tactic as my response.
Part of me wanted to say to my daughter that there were probably (very valid) reasons her teacher hadn’t offered one yet and that we shouldn’t make her teacher feel bad or pressured to do so. But then the voice sitting on my other shoulder said, “What lesson is that teaching my daughter if I advise her not to ask things of other people just because it might make them uncomfortable but that in asking might result in something that she really, really desires?” I sided with the second shoulder, deciding that the worst that could be said was no which would leave us in no different place than we already were, but at least we would have tried.
And sweet, sweet Raegan. In true to her form, she wrote the nicest letter to her teacher starting off with no intention but kindness, saying, “I miss you. I miss your sweet face.” From there she went on to tell her about what she’s been doing and then I helped her with making sure that her Zoom request was asked with top manners. And that was that; she decorated the envelope, picked the stamp, and we mailed it, hoping for the best.
I cannot tell you how I cried when I got her teacher’s response of YES to RL’s request. I was so happy for my girl and so happy for myself for listening to that second voice that didn’t squash my kid’s hopes just because I didn’t think it would be polite to ask. Raegan was thrilled when I told her; she literally jumped up and down saying, “Yay! Yay! YAY! I get to see their faces again!”
And, as a bonus, she actually got some extra time online with her teacher as we were asked to help (and were very happy to comply) with a practice session so they could work out the bugs of using the system. Raegan’s smile during that said it all that we made the right decision to ask.
This morning was the real deal with the class, of whom about half were able to participate, and I sat there off to the side of RL on screen and was so proud of her for having the guts and the gusto to know what she wanted and to ask for it. I hope she just keeps doing that forever and remembers how moving from a place of kindness can take you far (even when you’re still stuck at home).