Note: As the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I’m attempting to put my feelings down somewhere. This isn’t usually what I would put in this blog, but it’s important to chronicle how it changes my parenting and fitness journey.

The last day of the academic year for my kids is supposed to be June 9.

Today, our governor announced the closure of schools for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While my kids have been learning remotely learning for about five weeks, it wasn’t until today — when the hope of a normal school year resuming was dashed — when the finality of it sank in.

Things aren’t returning to normal. My eighth-grader won’t be resuming her last season of middle school sports. We won’t be seeing our youngest son “graduate” from his current elementary school to the one for grades 3-5.

I cried when the governor made the announcement today during a video conference. I cried more for our county’s high school seniors, who will be missing prom, a true graduation ceremony, and maybe that final state playoff game with their teammates.

I cried for the teachers whose smiling faces come on our tablets and computer screens. As one former teacher, who now leads our local Boys and Girls Club, said, “It’s hard to not be able to do your calling and hug your babies.” This must be hard for them as well.

In our school district, some children count on school to be their safe haven. It’s where they are fed. It’s where they are loved. For our schools’ administrators, faculty and staff, knowing that some students will continue to be away from that safety net must be gut-wrenching.

I haven’t been writing here much because I didn’t feel that it was my place to write certain things. I am trying to keep my blog on a particular path.

But we are living in an unusual time. The old “normal” doesn’t apply anymore.

A local grief recovery specialist noted that the loss of routine or things that brought us comfort can cause grief. It is important to express that grief — to acknowledge that it’s here and do our best to move on.

I grieve for what I imagined for my children. But I’m inspired by their resiliency and how this time is bringing us closer together.

I grieve for our community that puts so much effort and support into our local school system. I also admire how much the community has rallied to fill in gaps in service where it can in these unprecedented times.

I grieve for our local businesses that are struggling to survive. I celebrate their inventiveness as they find new ways to offer their goods.

One day at a time, we will get through this. Hopefully together.