• TheOtherMom

Some Beauty During Social Isolation

As most of you know, this social distancing thing has been hard for me. I’m the kind of person who finds activities to fill all our free moments.

I love going to the store and lingering as I plan our dinner while looking at the selections. If I run into a friend in the aisles I always have time for a chat and a hug. My husband and I love going to restaurants and we definitely enjoy having friends over.

I cherish the quiet when the kids go to school and I especially love the way my house looks on a Monday after everyone's left and I've had time to deep clean it.

Life these days looks vastly different than what I'm used to, but as I watch the horror unfold at the New York hospitals and within communities, I can't help but feel grateful for what I do have, even if it wasn't what it used to be.

Those simple things such as being able to hug my kids or Facetime my parents. I'm thankful for these people that I love with all my heart.

While our spring break plans cancelled, I feel relief that we didn't go and get stuck somewhere. I'm grateful for our health.

And I'm so unbelievably thankful for the people who are putting their lives and families at risk in all different occupations. In the midst of all the things I can’t do anymore I’ve seen something so unbelievably beautiful.

Those kids, the ones I often write about growing up too fast or savoring the moments... I have nothing but time with them.

We’ve brought back family dinners. My husbands commute prevented him from being part of them and now that’s not an issue. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.

I take all the kids on a walk every day. We talk. We look at nature. We found a pond and spotted a frog yesterday. He was really hidden-the only reason we saw him is because we had the time to stand and stare at the water, something we never would have done before. We sing. My daughter collects rocks. She wonders at the sparkles in them and contemplates their value.

Homeschool, while challenging, has allowed me to teach my kids some of the things that I've always wanted them to know. Like the song "50 Nifty United States..." we memorized it. And now I'm teaching them where every state is on a map. Not sure if or when they'll learn it in school, but it's something I want them to know now.

And oh, that cleaning I usually do on Monday mornings... I had to spread that out across the week, but I have two helpers now. They've learned to operate a vacuum, scrub a toilet, and wipe down a counter. This morning I asked them to strip their beds and help me wash the sheets. They've always had chores, but nothing like this. When I announced we were cleaning the bathrooms, they came in their pajamas and rubber gloves. They each took a towel and began to wipe. It might be faster to do myself, but these life skills are invaluable.

I admit I've gone a little crazy with the Amazon ordering, but we're saving money on gas, going out to eat, random shopping trips and poorly thought out grocery choices.

These kids sometimes fight, but as their only playmates, I'm seeing my kids get closer every day. Yes, they push each other's buttons, but I hear them talking in their bunkbed late into the night. It's amazing that they still have things to say to each other after a full day of being together. But that's how siblings are... they're never going to run out of things to talk about.

While I'm making dinner, I might mention that the baby is bored, and I've got two helpers to entertain him. I always felt a little guilty about that when they got home from school and only had 30 minutes of true down time between activities, but I don't in this situation. They've stepped up in the best way. I'm glad they have each other to share this with.

Those are some of my positive take-aways.

What are your silver linings?

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