Dear People Who Run My Son’s College,
First, let me just say that I wouldn’t want to be in your position. The decisions you need to make are Solomonic and all paths are fraught with peril. I’m giving you the full benefit of the doubt because I have read your tome about reopening, and it seems intelligent and well-reasoned. Obviously, a lot of work went into planning this upcoming year.
Let’s stipulate that we all care about the health of the students and that their return to school is the desired end goal for all of us. Your desire to have him back at school is only marginally outmeasured by mine.
Let’s speak parent to parent
But I thought maybe for a moment we could just speak plainly as mom of a college kid to college administrator, who perhaps is also a parent.
My son is a rising college sophomore, no better, no worse, no more deserving, and no less than his peers all over the country of the full college experience.
Let’s talk about him because he’s no different than any other 19-year-old boy. He’s a good kid, not one to make waves or break rules but on a good day he’s forgetful and sometimes lazy.
Are you planning on reminding him to WEAR HIS MASK? Like every time he walks out of his room, because it is not “if” he forgets but when.
And masks need to be washed periodically. He can no longer let his laundry pile up. He’s got to keep those masks clean.
So, will you occasionally tell him that a dirty mask is useless, maybe worse than no mask at all?
When my son was in grade school, I picked him up one day and one glance at his glazed eyes confirmed that he had a raging fever. “Why” I asked him “…did you not go to the nurse today?” He shrugged apathetically and said something like, “Didn’t want to.”
I know he’s not in elementary school anymore, but can you please make sure that he realizes that when he’s sick, before his fever rages, he needs to reach out?
One of the million school forms I signed each year asked me how illness presents itself in my child. I asked the school nurse what exactly they were looking for in that form and she said that it’s best to catch illnesses before they manifest, and some kids have tell-tale pre-morbidity signs.
After nineteen years in the trenches, I can tell you that mine gets cranky before he gets sick; will you let me know if he gets really cranky?
When his brother picked my youngest up from your campus, and social distancing was already a thing, we told the child to stick to verbal goodbyes. We have it on good authority that despite that warning many tearful hugs were exchanged.
Can you please remind my 19-year-old that as wonderful as skin-to-skin contact feels, right now it’s not okay.
Thank you for everything
Now that we are straight on all that, I want to thank you in advance for everything you are doing, have done and will do.
He is the most precious thing I have. I give him to your keeping. Just take good care of all of them and of yourself as well.
A Concerned Mom
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Dear Graduates, So Sorry That We Have Failed You We parents are so sorry for all of this.