It has been quite some time since I posted. In all honesty, I didn’t have words or perhaps enough emotional energy to put my thoughts into words. The last 365 days have forever changed our lives. Rollercoasters of feelings as we witnessed a viral pandemic that sent us to our homes. It was hard to swallow the fact that for many their home may not feel safe or be secure.
Inequities came to light. Racial and class tensions grew. Politics continued to polarize and many didn’t know how to process. “Flatten the curve,” “quarantine,” “new normal,” “coronavirus,” “COVID,” and “pandemic” are all words that were foreign over a year ago and may be everyday language now and forever.
As the country re-opens, people are emerging from a yearlong hibernation. Some appear scared, timid, and anxious while others are over-joyed and excited to “get back to normal.” In conversations, at home, at work, at the grocery store you hear people recounting what they’ve learned and what they finally took time to do. Habits and routines they worked hard to develop and don’t want to lose, Some open up to share how old, ugly coping strategies have returned due to periods of high stress in socially isolated homes.
While we didn’t choose to share all of the events that unfolded in the last year, I believe our children learned more than we sought to teach them. I continue to be humbled by their perspectives and learnings.
Most dinners, the kiddos chat about anything and everything while the adults take turns playing crowd control and wait staff. But, the other night we shifted the conversation to reflect upon how this Spring break was different and what they had learned because of the pandemic.
Theo shared that masks are uncomfortable and don’t feel good but they’re important because they protect others. We need to continue to wear our masks.
Lily echoed Theo’s sentiments about masks but shared how important she believes it is to be kind and put others’ first.
Bella recognized how she hadn’t been to a store to browse, dream or purchase everyday items. She shared her gratitude for online shopping conveniences which helped us to keep home feeling “normal.”
Ellie pointed out that not everyone had it the same. She is grateful that we always had what we needed. She also shared how good it felt to be able to spend a lot of time with her family.
Kali wrapped up the children’s contributions by sharing how more time at home created more time for each other and other activities.
We sat and smiled and thanked them for their wise words. As I sit here now, I continue to believe that my children will forever teach me more than I will ever teach them. For this, I am grateful.
It is my ongoing hope that we’re raising game changers. We aim to preserve their precious outlook on life, foster their imagination and creativity, encourage their curiosity and willingness to ask questions and the ability to know when to speak up and share their voice and when to be quiet and simply listen. Our home has privilege and I believe our children are beginning to realize this. It is my prayer that they will continue to share this power, dismantle imbalances, explore history and its implications so that we can have a more equitable and just tomorrow.