We’ve now been quarantined in our house for a solid 2 months due to COVID-19. Save but for a few trips to Publix and Trader Joe’s, we haven’t left the house. Well, let me rephrase that…my kids haven’t left the house! As my husband has coined, we are 50% thriving and 50% surviving.
I spend a lot of my days (when I’m not potty training, or homeschooling, or keeping my dogs from barking because my husband is working upstairs) wondering about how we will move on from this scary time that we are living in. I daydream about what life will be like in a post-COVID-19 world. I wonder about travel. And about school. And eating at restaurants. And about vacations. And about when it will be safe to visit grandparents again.
As I was putting my oldest daughter (6) to sleep the other night, she leaned over and asked me, “Mom, when do you think I’ll get to go back to school when the Coronavirus is over? Maybe in 3rd grade?” Y’all, she is in Kindergarten! It brought me down to reality. It made me, for perhaps the first time, truly think about how my kids are handling all of the stress and uncertainty of this time!
From an outsider’s view, we’ve had lots of fun these last few months. Sure there has been some schoolwork involved, and lots of Zoom calls, but we’ve spent lots of time cooking together. We’ve spent days playing with the hose in the backyard. We’ve gone on scavenger hunts through the woods on the property next door to us. God has blessed us with the most amazing weather that Atlanta has seen in what feels like forever. My three daughters have been resilient and cheerful, and have loved spending so much time making messes everywhere in the house, and loving on one another.
But what I truly hadn’t considered until recently, is what this global pandemic must feel like from a child’s point of view. Do you remember going on road trips when you were a child? An hour felt like a millennium. Time moves at such a slow and gentle pace when you are a child. Its next to impossible to describe the concept of time to a child. It’s even more impossible to explain that nobody really knows or understands how this pandemic will shake down. What seems accurate and valid one day is disproved the next.
To be honest, I’m still not sure what the right answers are to my daughter’s questions about the virus. I certainly hope we won’t still be affected by COVID-19 by the time she in in third grade! But, as much as I don’t like to admit it, we just don’t know. We don’t know whats around the corner. We don’t know if we’ll be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. We don’t know if it will be safe to go back to school.
So what am I doing at home for my girls? I’m trying to parse out time into recognizable chunks. In seven more sleeps, we will get to do a drive by birthday parade for so-and-so from your class! In two more sleeps, we will go on a socially distant bike ride with our neighbors. In 99 more sleeps, it is your sister’s birthday – let’s start thinking of what she might want for a gift! I can’t promise them upcoming camp, or sports, or school around the corner, but I can promise hope, and love, and unrelenting comfort and snuggles.