“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
― C.S. Lewis
I love you all so much. I love your spirit of adventure, your desire to learn, your giving hearts, and your giant laughs. I love your dirty faces, hands, and feet. I love your determination to conquer the next task put in front of you.
I know that the adults around you are asking a lot of you. We are asking you to behave, to be quiet, to take on jobs and feelings that are beyond your years. We are asking you to learn and master technology that you have never seen before, often on substandard devices. I know we are asking you to manage much of this on your own, as the adults around you have to work and worry and be adults in the same space as your classroom, bedroom, and play area.
When I go for walks around my neighborhood, I notice the chalk drawings, the windows filled with rainbows, teddy bears, and paper hearts. I know you made these displays. I know you are still creative, and experimenting, and not afraid to share your best effort with the world. I want you to know how much it means to the me. It tells me you are still sparkling bundles of light capable of melting me on my saddest days.
One thing you all have taught me over the years, is that you understand more than we think you do. You show me that when you share lunch with a friend after their’s is accidentally dropped on the floor. You show me that when you make 100 Valentine’s cards and ask me to take them to the Nursing Home for “The Grandparents That Don’t Have Families Close By.” You show me when I am deep in the world of adults, and you gently wrap around me and say “Miss Joanna, we’ve got this. Can I give you a hug?”
Some day, you will be grown, and this time will be a memory, and not a current reality. And when that happens, I want to you remember your triumphs, and your sadness. I want you to know that this whole time, even when you think you didn’t, you did your very, very best. I want you to know that I see you. I want you to feel that even though I am in my house, and you are far away, I see you. I see your struggles, I see your boredom, I see your fear, I see you.
You are still the most magical creatures I know. And you will grow up. Faster now than we had planned for you. And your lives will be forever different – not in all ways, but for sure, in some ways. You will forever be the children who made paper hearts during the pandemic, the children who learned how to wear medical masks, and the children who spent more time on Zoom than on the swing-set.
I don’t know what you will become, but I know that you will amaze me. What you are learning now is the start of new ways of thinking, new solutions, and new ways to interact. And you constantly impress me with taking what you are given and transforming it into something I could not imagine. I cannot wait to hear your ideas, and help you make your plans come to fruition.
Do not lose your sense of wonder, and your lovely kindness. Do not let the adults scare you into being small instead of ginormous. Be bold, and brave, and laugh your biggest laughs. Read books, and look to the stars. Make art, and bake cookies. And know that when this is over, I want you to tell me ALL OF IT.
I love you!