Difficult times with COVID, but our long period of restrictions have made us all a bit more antsy than usual. As a result, we decided on a vacation that might be considered somewhat more COVID friendly- outdoor excursions. We went to Mount Shasta, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Lake Tahoe. Then, after visiting up North for a bit, we traveled our way down South to San Diego Zoo. It was beautiful to be out in nature. Nature does wonders for mental health and that is a proven fact! It was a much- needed vacation for our family. We went on hikes and through volcanic cavernous tubes and enjoyed a picnic out by the lake. Seeing all the amazing animals was a wonderful experience for Anna. Upon return, we promptly began our preparations for starting school! It is an exciting, yet a very anxious time for us. Concerns about her potty habits, her size in comparison to her peers but also in comparison to the toilet. Concerns about her academic abilities, her social skills, her motor skills to be able to deal with the playground. Concerns about her ability to deal with her lunch by herself, or will the full day Kinder be too long for her? And not to mention, the COVID specific concerns and ultimate question of can she and will she keep a mask on? In terms of where she will attend- Anna was thankfully accepted into the same small, Christian private school that my other two children attend. It was literally an agonizing decision to determine where she should go to school. My daughter, however, expressed wanting to go to “God’s school” and that’s what initially gave us the idea. The once “impossible” idea; started forming into a possibility. To go to the same school that the other two attended would be comforting to my daughter and would be a comfort to me knowing her older sibs were watching. At the same time, literally this would make the logistics for me much better as I would only have to drive to one school. So, I prayed, thought it out, researched, and then, prayed some more and somehow, this is where we felt led and ended up. I realize that when you have a child with special needs, decisions like this are especially agonizing and one can never be sure if it is the “right” thing to do or even the “best” thing to do. I think only time will tell and each year there will have to be a continuous evaluation about whether the placement is still appropriate for her. I feel like the only way to get through the days smiling is to not look too far ahead. I literally look at one day advance in my schedule. If I look too far ahead, the feeling of uncertainty and the anxiety caused by that uncertainty would surely overwhelm and overtake me. So, with faith, I go forth with this decision and surely, will keep you posted as we go on this journey of starting Kindergarten!