If you were to zoom in on our family at dinner time recently, we’d look like any other family during normal times. Hubby and I making dinner, our three young kids eating and running around, getting our 20-month-old ready for bedtime.
Since I’m a stay-at-home mom already, our day-to-day routine for us hasn’t changed much during this pandemic, with the exception of my husband working upstairs and our kindergartner is learning at home now.
But when you look closer, you can start to see the little effects this virus has had on our family, without actually having infected us (we think).
My husband has a brand-new patch of gray above one ear. Our kindergartener is moody and distant now when we try to engage her with her online learning. Our 20-month-old is super clingy and refuses to let me out of his sight, and our 4-year-old son often wants to revert back to pull-ups when he’s been wearing underwear just fine.
While I don’t dye my hair, new silver hairs have emerged as a result of my increased stress and anxiety. My emotions are all over the place these days, often changing with little notice.
Anger comes more quickly than it used to, especially when I’m reminded about all the plans we had for this year to travel and see family.
The kids are used to my mom being at the house every week, and we’ve seen her and my dad only twice in the last two months—six feet apart.
An inability to focus reminds me so much of the postpartum depression I faced last year when I couldn’t seem to focus on reading, something I absolutely love to do. I was supposed to wean off my meds this spring, but that plan changed real fast.
Apathy hits when I think about continued online learning when I know it’s just not working well for my daughter. She’s a free spirit, creative, and loves imaginative play, and she is sorely missing the daily interaction with her friends and her teachers.
A sense of overwhelming guilt arrives when I think about all of the blessings—we’re healthy, safe, and comfortable at home with plenty of food and resources.
Who are we to complain?
My grief about my daughter missing the rest of kindergarten is arguably nothing compared to high school seniors who have missed their prom and graduations. Yet, it’s all still the same—we’re mourning the loss of celebrating milestones and the key gathering moments we thrive on as humans.
We will get through this, and we will be stronger because of it. We will tell stories for generations about drive-by birthdays, Zoom classrooms, socially distant shopping, and most importantly, the sheer number of people we’ve lost due to this virus.
And we’ll have grace in knowing we can’t always see each others’ cracks below the surface—but they are surely there.