I’m trying to think of positives of the pandemic and be encouraging to my people, but I keep hearing
“There’s nothing to do.”
“I’m hungry (again)”
As a mother to 9 active children, I’ve heard these words a lot lately. In the past few months, our children have lost a lot of things in their lives. Schools have been replaced with E-Learning or Crisis Learning. Birthday parties have been replaced with birthday parades. Regular visits with friends and family have all but ceased. Typical summer activities like day camps, humid nights under the softball lights, and lazy days at the pool are memories of past summers. Kids have lost a lot. Or have they?
Since the rat race has ended and activities have come to a sudden halt, I’ve definitely heard my fair share of whining and bickering. You know what else I’ve heard? The sound of giggling from the most amazing, kid-built, backyard teepee. The sound of dirty bare feet stomping in muddy puddles. The sound of dice bouncing on the dining room table. I have heard pure happiness, joy, and innocence coming from my children. Positives of a pandemic.
I’ve definitely seen my fair share of YouTube videos, Disney+ movies, and Zoom meetings. You know what else I’ve seen? My daughters learned to ride a RipStik. My son learned to change the inner tube on a bicycle. My entire family planted gardens together. I have watched my children build a teeter-totter from some logs and a tree branch. I have seen my family coming together to do yard work, play kickball, and roasting hot dogs in our backyard. We’ve even made S’Mores!
Over the past few weeks, children have learned to be creative. They’ve learned how to entertain themselves, instead of constantly bouncing from activity to activity. The children have learned how to play outside with the hose and climb trees. Instead of separating and running to cross country practice, voice lessons, and a variety of therapies and appointments, all eleven of us are home together. We are operating as a whole family unit. We are cooking together and eating meals together – LOTS of meals together. We have taken long bike rides and family walks. We even built a chicken coop and hatched our own backyard chickens with an incubator. We have found the positives in this pandemic.
As our lives were turned upside down and it seemed like we were losing more and more, I’m not so sure that is the case. While I am eager to return to normal like everyone else, I am relishing the time when the world stood still and life hit the snooze button. While the new normal isn’t the ideal lifestyle I had pictured and planned for my family, it turns out that there are positives to the pandemic. It comes with a lot of lessons that simply weren’t being learned during the old normal. They may have lost a lot of activities, but they have gained optimism, innovation, and plain old-fashioned fun.