Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of change. I don’t fear it necessarily, but unless I can plan for it, change sparks more challenge than excitement for me typically. Cue the COVID crisis…last month I shared my feelings about being pregnant during this pandemic – both the struggles of feeling paralyzed in preparing for the future, but also trying to embrace what I can’t control. Now, several weeks later, I have a new perspective. One that comes from unexpected mentors who have shown me how to roll with the punches, appreciate the day to day, and thrive in the unknown…
Throughout these past few months of quarantine and social distancing and homeschooling, though I have leaned on the adult end of our support system to navigate this new normal, it has been my very own daughters that have perhaps taught me the most about resilience and acceptance during times of what seems like constant change. Yes, as kids, they don’t harbor the same stresses we do when it comes to the safety and security of our family. But they certainly have experienced their share of emotions about everything happening around them. And yet, in spite of disappointments, isolation, and a lot of “we can’t” statements, they have found joy. And their joy not only comforts me, their parent, but it also helps me accept that though things are not the same (and let’s be honest…may not be the same for a while), we don’t need them to be the same for life to still be lived.
I assumed when school was closed for the year, they would be upset. And they definitely were…but they were much quicker to move on from the sadness and into the positives and planning than I was when I found out my office would remain closed until after our new baby is born. They were excited about simple things like new notebooks for completing assignments at home, learning about Google Classroom, and even outlining a schedule for who would get to work at certain times of the day. They have learned to help each other – encouraging my youngest when she is nervous about getting on a Webex, working together to make lunch so I can finish a conference call, giving each other space when they need time alone. Every day I am amazed by their focus on what they CAN do – from excitement about outdoor time, to willingness to write cards to family and friends we can’t see right now, and anticipating our long Sunday morning family walk. It is that kind of positivity that has helped me see that I too can look to all the things I can do vs. lamenting about what I can’t do. And being in that place of acceptance makes the day to day feel less heavy.
It isn’t always perfect. They have good days and bad days just like we do. And to be honest, their vulnerability to share their raw emotions sometimes snaps me out of my own negative headspace and allows me to just be mom in those moments, oftentimes when I need it most. So when I think about the many heroes that have emerged from this crisis, I consider my kids among them. I am both proud and thankful for the lessons they have and will continue to teach me. And as the world starts to open back up, I know I can to look to them to once again be an example for taking things one day at a time and facing change with a smile.