If anything this pandemic and social distancing has given me time to enjoy the simple things. By nature I am pretty easy to please under regular circumstances (my usual birthdays gifts can include children’s books and markers as an indicator) but this time has made enjoying simple things even more crucial. Yesterday, we spent part of our afternoon observing the ants scurrying across our kitchen floor and at the moment I have the Cornell Bird Lab live feeder streaming into our living room.
But even for someone who is naturally predisposed to the simple joys of bird cams and ants, “social distancing” has not been easy. This moment in history is not easy. Yesterday morning my gloomy, meh state gave way to anxiety cleaning all of the sock drawers in my house (though anxiety cleaning is something I do on a regular basis, because slowing down is HARD for me). It also meant extra technology time and a lunch of cookies for my little, just to be granted a bit of extra time to wallow in my bleh feelings.
These feelings also got me thinking about my twenty-two seven and eight year olds that I am missing each day as we are unable to meet in the safe and sacred space of our classroom. It got me thinking about all of the mixed emotions they might be feeling in these uncertain days. I thought about how at times they might be super excited for extra time to play with toys or video games. Or that at other times they might feel sad not to be seeing familiar friends and teachers or going to favorite places. I thought about how they might be feeling excited, worried, thankful, lonely, out of sorts, energized or lazy. Probably our children are feeling all of these things all wrapped into one, just as we are as adults through this unexpected time. In order to help them with these mix of feelings I wrote them the following letter:
To be quite honest, I wrote the letter to my students, yes, but I also wrote it to the little girl within myself, who needed to hear these words yesterday morning and honestly needs to hear these words many mornings in these quarantine days (and quite truly most regular days as well).
I hope these words help a little person (or maybe a big person) in your life today. Or maybe just maybe they help you as well.
P.S. One of Broden’s daily activities throughout this time is pushing vehicles around his car rug. He calls the traffic lights “stop-it lights” and I’m secretly hoping he calls it that for the REST of his life!