I want you to imagine this for just a moment. You are six-years-old and you have just come in from the yard after your break time. You begin to notice that something isn't right. Your teacher seems a bit off, worried even. She is frantically gathering different books and worksheets together and putting them on everyone's desks. Although you are only six-years-old you can see the worry on her face and sense her panic. It is the same worry and panic you have seen on many grown ups faces over the past few weeks.
Then your teacher tells your class that the school will be closing today for two whole weeks. You aren't sure how long that is but it must be a long time because teacher is giving out a lot of work for everyone to do at home. She keeps saying words that you have heard many times over the past few weeks; virus, germs, pandemic, yet you still don't really know what it means. All you know is that you need to wash your hands a lot and stay at home. Now you are starting to worry too.
Back in March, this was the reality for children all across the country when the Government announced they were closing the schools. One day they were enjoying the time they spent in school with their friends and the next they were stuck at home unable to see their extended family and friends. I think that sometimes it easy to forget how hard this pandemic has been on the little people in our lives. While many parents have been faced with the stress of homeschooling, working from home and financial difficulties, our children have had to miss out on a lot of normal childhood activities.
Throughout this pandemic both of my kids missed out on having birthday parties and instead celebrated at home with video birthday messages and video calls. My daughter also missed out on her first holy communion and the longer her beautiful white dress sits idly in her wardrobe, the less chance it has of still fitting her when we do eventually get a new date for the occasion. My kids have missed out on our family holiday which we were due to go on last week, which they had been looking forward to since last year.
Although they have missed out on so much, they have both been such warriors throughout this pandemic. They have persevered through all the homeschooling, not seeing their friends and missing out on so much and they have done so with such amazing resilience. I am so proud of how well they have coped over the past few months. I really feel that kids all over the country should be given way more credit than they have been throughout this pandemic. So let them stay up past their bed time, give them a few extra treats and remind yourself that this is a tough time for children too.