Dear Other Parents,
Okay, deep breath, here goes. I want to ask a small favor of you. A small favor with HUGE implications. Please, pleeeeease, pretty please with sugar on top and chocolate and vodka and maybe even a little cash or whatever else you want. Can we all please just do each other a favor right now?
I know there are all kinds of parents in our country and that’s amazing— parents who aren’t as worried about the virus, parents who are uber worried about the virus, parents who are letting their kids roam the streets at all hours, parents who would like to wrap their kiddos up in bubblewrap and plop them on a shelf at home for the next 365 days. And no one’s wrong. We’re all making our own choices. But SOME of these choices affect other people.
So please be considerate.
This means if the school suggests kids wear masks, please just make your kiddo wear a mask. The same way I make my kid wear a coat even if he doesn’t want to. The same way I make him wear a helmet, shoes, a seat belt, underwear, sunscreen, a tie, etc etc etc. I know your kiddo doesn’t want to wear a mask, but other parents want him to. And it’s not that big a deal. Our kids do things they don’t want to do all the time.
This means if we’re supposed to check our kiddos’ temperatures before they go to school or an activity, just check it. Like for real. With an actual thermometer not the back of your hand. And if you forget to take it before you leave the house, don’t lie and say you did. Just run back home quickly and do it. Your kid missing ten minutes of something is way better than a whole group of kids missing fourteen days of something.
This means if your kid wakes up with a new cough, don’t just assume it’s allergies. If you know it’s allergies, like you are 200% sure, awesome. But if there’s the tiniest itty-bitty question in your mind, maybe just keep them home until you’re sure.
And if your kid has a rash or swollen toes or pinkeye or a low fever, I know these things don’t seem like a big deal and in normal times they’re not, but right now, they might be. So maybe you can just act with an abundance of caution? Please?
And if you go get your kid tested for COVID and you’re waiting to get the test results back, please just keep your kiddo home until you do. If there’s a reason you’re getting them tested, then there’s a reason to keep them home. Yes, I know this sucks. Yes, I know the testing is taking too long. But sadly you’re not positive when your test comes back positive. You’re positive when you take the test.
And if someone in your house is diagnosed with COVID, please keep the WHOLE family home. Even if they don’t show symptoms. At least until they’re tested. I know there’s no such thing as the COVID police so no one is going to stop you from going places. This is why I hope you’ll police yourself.
And please, be honest.
If you travel to a state that’s on the watch list and your area wants you to quarantine when you get back, just do it. Don’t pretend like you didn’t go. Don’t tell your kids to keep it a secret. If you don’t want to skip your trip, by all means, go for it. You’re allowed to take the risk. But please stay home when you get back because some families are choosing not to take that risk.
And last but not least, if you tell me someone in your house has the coronavirus, I won’t blame you. I’ll THANK you. And I’ll shower you… with food and presents and dvds and cards on your porch. I’ll reach out to you to see how you’re doing and see if you need anything.
Because you were considerate.
We may not all agree about masks or schools or vaccines or the government, but in the end, every parent wants exactly the same thing. For our kids to be safe.
So go ahead and make your own choices, but when your choices affect others, please be considerate.
A parent who loves her children just like you
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