I can picture it in my mind’s eye. Our children, as grown adults, reflecting on these times with their friends, spouses or even their own children.
Our children will probably remember these days differently than many of us will, or even than many older kids (high schoolers and college kids) will. They are living through the same unprecedented events as we are, but they are experiencing them through a different lens. For them, it just might feel like time had paused.
For those of us who are not on the front lines (doctors, nurses, health care workers, even truckers and distributors keeping us supplied with food and necessities), life has slowed down. A lot.
I’m not making light of the people who are struggling with this and how it has drastically altered their lives, because there are so many who are struggling. Whether facing illness, loss of a loved one, loss of opportunities and experiences, anxiety that is heightened from routines being yanked out from under them, etc. – there’s no denying that there is a lot of hard in these pandemic times. Yet there are also some blessings, and if we shift our view a little we can see them. We can feel them.
How we experience and remember these days is greatly influenced by how we choose to perceive and frame them. For many of us, especially teens and adults, this takes conscious effort. For younger children, whose minds are more in the present than reflecting on the past or worrying about the future, little effort is required.
So how might these days be remembered, by our children and by those of us who have aligned with — and cherish — the slowing and the pause?
- Not going to school, rather, learning was done online and with packets or online lessons.
- Moms and Dads got much more involved with schoolwork (of younger children), with some great discussions and creative, fun projects.
- Zoom became part of daily life…and not the kid’s tv show from the 70s!
- Not going to the plethora of after-school activities (because everything was cancelled). Instead, kids played outside, took walks and bike rides with families.
- More family meals all together, eaten at the kitchen table, instead of eating at various times and on-the-go.
- More family time, across the board…creating a feeling of a love-filled, safe cocoon, especially for younger children.
- Staying up late and sleeping later, too.
- Pajamas were often the clothing of choice, with a set for sleeping and a different set for during the day.
- We often lost track of what day (and week) it actually was. And weekends lost some of their cache because schoolwork (and adult work) could be done ANYtime.
- We found creative ways to stay connected – like Zooming with friends and extended family members, picnics in the backs of SUVs parked 6 feet away from a friend’s car, talking and Face-Timing friends just as much as texting, and more.
- We celebrated in creative ways, celebrating birthdays with car parades driving by houses or local fire departments sending fire trucks with sirens to signal the event.
- Neighborhoods organized fun scavenger hunts where kids would walk with their families and see how many teddy bears in house windows they could find.
- Love, hope and positivity was spread everywhere, with colorful messages chalked on driveways, signs sharing inspiration and uplifting words, smiley faces created with bright tape on neighborhood garages.
In a future far removed from the fear associated with these days, I pray we will look back and remember some of the beauty, blessings.
I feel sure that many of our younger children will have fond memories that include some of the ones just listed. More than that, when they look back they will remember how they felt during these days. Hopefully lighter, immensely loved, safe. Immersed in what felt like a long pause of regular life.
And I hope many of us will reflect and remember beyond the worry, challenges and things we couldn’t do. I hope we remember how people came together, how we all slowed down and rediscovered joy in so many little things and simple time with our most precious people. And I wish with all my heart that we will have brought some of the blessings we discovered then, with us to the future we emerge into.
Sydnei Kaplan is Mom to Mia (21) and Ben (19), wife to David. She left a marketing career when Mia made her a mom and never looked back. Along the way she discovered her soul’s true calling and found joy not just in raising her own children, but in supporting friends along their journeys. Currently she works part-time in a preschool and rediscovered her passion for writing at Mom in the Moment, her recently launched blog.
Blog – https://www.mom-in-the-moment.com
Facebook – @sydnei.in.the.moment
Instagram – @mom_inthemoment
Twitter – @Mom_intheMoment