Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! While most of you have one more week, the faculty and staff will all be in the building tomorrow, so for us the year is underway.
For those of you who don’t know, Trinity High School went all of the 2020-21 school year without a known Covid transmission at school. After a year of this, I am quite confident in the plans and procedures put forth by the team and in the conscientious attention to every detail by our faculty. We are prepared to not only educate your Blazer as a strong, empowered, faith-filled young woman, but we are also committed to keep all our community safe and healthy.
But enough already - for more than a year we have been talking about Covid and its direct impact on our lives. This past week, however, I had a wake-up call as the parent of a high schooler that I wanted to share with you all. Some of you know that my 16-year-old son was given a scholarship to attend an out-of-state boarding school. Like Trinity, they made extraordinary efforts to keep the students in school last year which, like Trinity, required great sacrifice on the part of the students, employees, and parents alike. Predominant was the greatly reduced access to visiting our children. After dropping him off in August, we didn’t see him until Christmas.
Yesterday I had a chance to spend time with the parents of his classmates. Each of us had stories about one another’s children, and between the group of us, we were able to piece together the events of last school year that kids don’t always share with their moms. We all came to the startling realization that the kids aren’t the only ones who missed 18 months of their high school lives. Parents did too. We all have been so (rightly) consumed with the virus and their physical safety that we missed big things. I missed the serious disappointment my son had when he was cut from a team. I knew he was sad, but I didn’t know about the absolute gut-wrenching heartbreak that I heard about from his roommate’s mom. Other moms missed their son’s first love, or first broken heart, and some big triumphs went uncelebrated.
And now, they are Juniors. His high school years are half over, and for the most part, I paid attention to Covid instead of to his emotional and spiritual growth into a young adult. My drive home this morning was filled with guilt and regret, but also with resolution. I’m determined to look past Covid this year. I want to recognize the normal high school milestones, not focus on what is wrong, different, or missing.
I hope that my story doesn’t resonate with any of you. I hope that you all had a better perspective when it came to your children than I did with mine. While we cannot ignore that Covid and all that goes with it is still coloring our daily activities, please learn from my mistakes and relish those activities, in spite of it all. In varying degrees, Covid has taken so much from all of us. Let’s not allow it to take any more from our children if it can be helped.
I end this note with a prayer that we all live in the joy of God’s grace and appreciate the small ups and downs of every day that make life so beautiful.
God bless you all in this new school year.