These are some very intense and emotional times! To anyone reading this, I want to preface this by saying: I hope you are well.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How something so unexpected can change the way we live. It can change the way we view one another, how we treat one another and it can also change the way we love one another. On one end I’m able to see that honoring myself is something I must do. I must speak out loud, rather than in my head, because it is a part of who I am called to be.
And on the other end I know, without a shred of doubt, that for me this pandemic holds a lesson when it comes to this particular chapter of my life.
I’ve always believed that childhood matters.
I believe it’s better served simple.
I’ve always believed that what you say and do when you’re parenting makes a difference to the people you bring into the world. (And I know, for sure, that our effect doesn’t stop when they walk through the world as adults.)
I’ve always believed that trying to better myself for my children is worth it. Parenthood is better served from a healed, and whole parent.
And even though a huge part of me has always believed that my voice will become their inner voice at times… Somehow, I still found myself letting the little things build up and cast a shadow on who I want to be for them.
But now, they’re home day in and day out, and things feel different, so they’re paying extra close attention to what my voice is saying. They’re hanging on every word and leaning in closer than ever before (literally and figuratively).
At some point yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning to my husband that Italy had over 400 deaths in one day due to the pandemic we are all facing. I didn’t think any of the children were listening, but one was.
“What did you say, mom? They had 400 ducks yesterday? Is that what you said, mom? Ducks? Why do they need so many ducks?”
I didn’t have the heart to correct her. Because it’s too much. Even for me. I can hardly handle any of it. So I honestly don’t want her to shoulder it until she has to (man, hasn’t that always been it.)
I realized almost instantly that we are right back in our bubble we had a couple of years ago before they started school. When they were little and we filled each other’s days just being together. As we have become accustomed to them being in school, we also became buddies with the hustle and bustle of it all. The morning rush, the homework drama, the race to get to bed on time.
I realized that in that moment I could choose which direction her mind went. It could go toward the reality of the world, or it could linger in a child’s world where someone had 400 ducks around them. So I chose the ducks.
I’m starting to realize that though it comes weighted with worry and confusion, having them here with me is so far from the worst thing to happen to me, or the worst thing that could be happening.
To be honest, I’ve always felt like this part of my life was moving too quickly so to be forced to slow down a little has helped me see that being present is truly all that matters.Their screams and laughter and seemingly non stop bickering over meaningless things, like stuffed animal placement, all of that means they are still here at home with me.
Their thoughts, hearts, and minds are more important to me than ever before. I want to make sure that when they look back on this time, they remember being together. So them being here is exactly right.
There’s genuinely not a piece of me that wants that to change right now.
I don’t know how this ends. And I don’t know where this is going. But I do know that even though things have changed, and it’s been steep learning curve, I am so thankful every morning to wake up and see them healthy and still thriving.
I know that I’m going to have my moments because I am a human, but I also know that the best thing I can do right now is just love them, hug them, accept them, and loosen up a little.
The best thing I can do is try my hardest to serve them the childhood they deserve, the one I always wanted to give them, while I still can.