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Elysha and I are teaching full time. We are physically present in our schools Monday through Friday.

Our kids, however, are not. They attend school on Monday and Thursday but are learning virtually on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

As you might imagine, this has created quite a conundrum for many families, especially when your children aren’t yet old enough to be home alone.

Happily, we have Daniela.

Daniela is a college student who provided our after-school childcare last year. But this year, she is taking a semester off and has taken on the mantle of managing our children’s at-home learning plans.

Earlier this week I arrived home to find this:

As a teacher, I was impressed.

As a parent, I was eternally grateful.

These are incredibly challenging times for families in terms of logistics, finances, and childcare. We are thrilled to be lucky enough to have someone like Daniela working with our children this year. But we also know full well how childcare has suddenly became exponentially more expensive for us and many other families.

For many, it’s likely an impossible mountain to climb.

Our finances are certainly taking a hit, too. Thankfully, we will weather this storm and are blessed with someone as skilled and dedicated as Daniela.

But not everyone is as fortunate.

Just another reason to exercise kindness, patience, and empathy in this coming school year. It’s impossible to know the struggle and strain that families are dealing with in the face of this pandemic. The challenges that parents are facing behind closed doors are unimaginable.

I’m going to try like hell to smile more, judge less, and count my blessings, beginning with Daniela.