In a year with many new challenges and difficulties, I want to take the time to write a letter of appreciation to those who supported my family and me the most.
After reflecting on this past year and realizing the amount of gratitude I have for those who have really stepped up, I find that the people I most want to thank have always been there. However, when you are struggling, you recognize a deeper understanding of the importance of loved ones and your support network as never before.
First, I have to thank my parents. We were visiting them when the schools went all remote last year. It is not a surprise that they are the first ones I want to thank as they have always been there for me, but having them as a source of emotional strength this year really uplifted me.
My mom, a former teacher, helped get my daughters to get up and running with remote learning. She started a book club to keep them academically engaged and to enrich their love of reading further. Their book club continues to this day, twice a week, and it is a great way for them to spend quality time while physically they are many miles apart.
Next, a constant support and voice of reason is my husband. He is compassionate, level-headed, and has an optimistic attitude. Working a very demanding job from home, he makes the time to support us all during the long days.
I am forever thankful to have him in so many ways, and this past year was a true test of the strength of our marriage and family life, with many ups and downs. I feel a great sense of gratitude, knowing that we can get through tough times like these and come out stronger as a family.
My children are a great source of joy. While so much time indoors together has caused a lot of strain on everyone at times, it is truly a blessing to have been so involved with them when they are growing up so fast.
For all of its challenges, remote learning has allowed some silver linings: meals together, working through academic and emotional challenges, laughing a lot, crying some, and always finding our way at the end of the day.
I truly believe this past year is a period I will look back on and be thankful for because of the extra time with my family.
My brother is a reliable source of humor and wit, and I am so thankful for that during these times when everything can seem so grim and serious. Although we are far apart in distance, thankfully, technology has allowed us to visit in another way and share lots of laughs. My nephew was born during the height of the pandemic, allowing for many bright moments this past year.
I am forever grateful to my au pair. She stepped up as a teacher, friend, and constant support when I decided to keep my three kids home from in-person school. I am especially appreciative of her hard work and patience with my four-year-old, who I pulled out of preschool. With the help of a remote teacher, she fostered and encouraged his curiosity and love of learning at a young age.
I cannot say enough about how grateful I am to have such devoted, caring, enthusiastic, and hard-working remote teachers for my daughters. The fact that my daughters have stayed engaged with their classwork and made significant strides academically despite all of the challenges of remote learning has made me so thankful.
My friends are a constant source of support. My core group of friends has only grown closer. While this past year has been about distance, we have found ways to connect and boost each other’s spirits. I am looking forward to the time we can all meet up and not be socially distant, but until then, their strength and frequent communication have kept me going.
I am thankful for tennis and my tennis instructors. Exercise is a great outlet, and the game of tennis allows for some social interaction while keeping me fit. It is also a great escape from the outside world, as my mind only focuses on the game as I am playing. Pairing that with some amazing coaches I am fortunate to work with has been essential to my physical and emotional health.
This spring is a new awakening, new beginning, and a path forward with hope for brighter, happier days spent closer to those we love and care about.