Masks Off? What Conversations Are You Having With Your Kids
It's a weird feeling, right? We've been waiting for that sense of 'normalcy' for nearly two years now, and wondering if we'd ever go back to walking out of our houses without saying 'wallet, phone, keys, MASK.' Now we are headed a few steps in that 'normal' direction and there are mixed feelings.
Over the weekend, Governor Hochul made a surprising announcement that she was lifting the mask mandate in schools, effective Wednesday, March 2nd. The email from my child's school district came shortly after, that they would be allowing students the option of going on the busses, and into the school, mask free. To be honest, my first thought was a positive, 'finally, it's been long enough.' Then my mind went in a different direction, more negative, wondering about how this would impact my young daughter.
My daughter is six years old, in first grade, and does not know K-12 in a world without kindergarten lessons from our living room, masked classrooms, limited interactions with classmates, and really, when you think about it, truly doesn't know what her teachers and friends look like outside of their mask breaks.
She barely remembers the fact that she used to go to a pre-k program, every day, and run around, and eat lunch with other kids, and hug her teachers every day when she left the classroom.
I had a short conversation with her this morning before she got on the bus, asking if she knew anything about what would be going on at school this week, explaining that beginning on Wednesday, she may see people in school without a mask, and she has the option of not wearing one either. Not surprising, her immediate response was that she wasn't going to wear one either, how she couldn't wait to see what her teacher looked like, and that she wanted to go visit her kindergarten teacher and show her that she is missing her front teeth...priorities.
But seriously, what conversations are we having with our kids about the changes this week? I'm sure that my daughter will go back and forth in her thought process, if she sees her friends wearing masks she may want to keep hers on, but if most kids are going mask free, I'm sure she'll want to also. Full transparency, my daughter is fully vaccinated and I'm going to let her make the decision for herself, as scary as that is when thinking about a six year old.
I'm in no way trying to get into a debate about vaccines or whether or not masks are effective, just a mom on a mission to try and figure out how to tackle this kind of tricky topic with her little one. Thoughts?