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An Open Letter to Teachers

My son in the Dallas Cowboys mask,

Assigned to your class roster,

Did you know he loves to smile?

And he makes others smile too.

My son, sitting at a distance,

Within the walls of your influence,

Do you know how much he loves his friends?

And he takes care of the weak too.

My son, sitting at his desk in his chair,

Loaned to you to make an impact,

Did you know moving is how he learns?

And laughing and having fun too.

My son, growing in that uniform,

Voice deepening and emotions changing,

Did you know quarantine came at adolescence?

And he’s having to adjust.

My son, only 12 once,

Being shaped and formed,

At a crucial age,

He’s not an adult yet.

Be patient with him.

To my son, the mask seems tight,

Not as much on his face,

But on his spirit.

Be patient with him.

To my son, six feet feels like miles,

A separation,

He will endure every day.

Be patient with him.

“It is what it is.”

It has to be this way.

Guidelines mandate it.

Governments expect it.

The numbers are growing.

So are our children.

Their brains are still forming.

Their spirits still need watering.

Their development isn’t stopping.

In this pandemic, you are charged,

To uphold many safety standards,

But don’t neglect your charge,

To uphold my son’s potential.

So in your mask,

And at a distance,

Do you see that boy with the blonde hair and big eyes?

He sees you.

Be patient with him.

He isn’t an adult yet.