As I sat down to write an article tonight (on a completely different topic), I couldn’t help but reflect about all that we are going through right now. I mean, WE ARE MOMMIN’ THROUGH A FREAKING PANDEMIC! We have quickly shifted into work-from-home, homeschooling, toddler-tackling chefs who can throw together a side pony like nobody’s business and look professional for a Zoom call.
If you would have told me we would be doing this a few months ago I would have told you there is no way I would survive. But look at us; here we are a few weeks in and we are doing it. We are really doing it; and even though most days it doesn’t feel like we are always doing it well, we wake up each day with a new perspective and a willingness to do better than the day before.
I thought about all that has transpired over the past couple of weeks and how different our world is right now. It had me thinking, what is it that we are going to remember about this time years from now? What is it about this time that we will share with our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids as they write papers about this?
Here is how I hope my future self remembers this time:
We worked from home, some of us with spouses. People were laid off. We home-schooled our kids after schools were closed. Some kept our young ones home, with fear that sending them to daycare wasn’t safe. There were no activities, no playdates, no sports, no concerts, no proms, no graduations, no field trips, no birthday parties. Our kids were sad, scared, confused and frustrated. We woke up each and every day tuning in to see where the numbers were at and if we were going to have more executive orders to rule our days. We really had to idea what each day would bring.
But some really great things happened; we learned that true heroes lie within each of us and line our neighborhoods. They were no longer the sports stars or reality TV stars, they were the nurses and doctors; the ones that walked into the hospital every day to fight this invisible enemy. We watched as these heroes worked long hours in the line of fire, only to have to be quarantined away from their families, or having to take all precautions to come home and keep everyone at home safe.
They were the principals, the teachers, and the paraprofessionals working endless hours to keep our children learning, even from a distance. They kept our kids engaged and connected as best as they could through technology.
They were the grocery store workers, the delivery drivers, and the postal service workers. The essential workers who woke up every day to put their health and the health of their families at risk, because it was their job.
They were the restaurant and bar owners who could no longer operate as normal. So instead of shutting down, they supplied food to kids who’s only meal came from school. They started offering delivery services and curbside pick-up so their employees could still pay the bills.
They were the factory workers that stopped producing whatever they were in business to make, and started producing things that were needed. We had truck factories producing ventilators, distilleries producing hand sanitizer, and mattress factories producing masks.
They were the moms at home who took to their sewing machines and started producing masks for those who needed them. Because if homeschooling, working, and running a household wasn’t enough, these mom’s headed downstairs after everyone went to bed and sewed.
They were the pastors and the church staff providing online services and kids lessons to keep your family feeling connected. They were calling and checking in on members and doing whatever they could to help.
They were the members of government, leading us through the storm. They spent sleepless nights watching numbers rise and researching how to keep the economy moving forward and which orders to release the next day to keep everyone safe.
You see, in a time where it would have been easy to get down, feel frightened and give up, people stepped up. People were helping other people and even in a scary time it was a beautiful sight.
People connected even though they couldn’t physically connect. People made a point to reach out and talk to those they loved and couldn’t be with each and every day because you never knew what the next day was going to bring. We visited with friends we normally would put off. We found fun and interesting ways to have fun with those we loved even if it couldn’t be in person. The kids found ways to connect with each other even if it couldn’t be in person.
Families slowed down and had meals together. There were no longer schedules and the daily rush. They played games, watched movies, went for walks, exercised, and made forts in the middle of the living room. It was almost as if time stood still. The days were sometimes long, but we enjoyed that time with our kids, and when things got really hard we reminded ourselves that in our lifetime we may never have this time again, so we found ways to enjoy it.
People gave. This was my favorite part of the whole pandemic. People celebrated each other and had a new-found appreciation for life. They organized birthday parades, made videos to celebrate teachers and friends, and organized food drives. It was almost as if nobody new what to do with the fear and the anxiety of all the unkowns so they gave to others. They made people smile. People put hearts all over their windows to show unity and love. People really took time to appreciate people again.
Everyone slowed down. People took time to reflect, pray and appreciate things that they may have missed. They read books, took online courses, and gained new skills.
Sure it wasn’t always easy. We were worried, we felt scared, and there were many days were we weren’t a great employee, teacher, mom and friend. But we rallied; in a time where we had no other choice we found ways to grow in all aspects of our lives, and that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I know some days it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and some aspects of our lives are going to fall apart. But remember years from now when we look back at this time. I sure hope I look back and remember it like this, don’t you?