There’s something different about the back-to-school pictures this year. Anxious mothers write words like, “Finally,” and, “Not quite the start we expected;” but that’s not it. Children smile with some trepidation, but they always have. Is it those cloth pieces masking half of everyone’s smile?
No, what’s different is what the masks represent: fear.
We are all of us, afraid. Behind the smiles and sighs of relief and happy waves is a great nervousness of what we do not know. Will my sweet, little, smiling kindergartener get sick? Will her teacher? Will I? Even those who claim conspiracy or good sense feel it. It’s written on their faces and in the doubts behind their eyes.
But, as the old adage says, time marches on. Children march the quickest, passing from babe to school-age to teenage in the time an adult might renew a mortgage or move jobs.
Yes, we fear what the future might hold. We don’t know. What we do know is that the future belongs to the children -those same sweet, little, smiling children already anxious for what First Day of School might hold.
Hug yours; give them hope as well as fear. Their future will be bright again before we know it.
©2020 Chel Owens