Last evening was a regular one during quarantine, spent biking with the boys while my daughter was engrossed in her own world drawing rainbows with chalk on the side walk. I was admiring her ‘happy Nadine,’ a name created by her for a happy face. Self-obsessed are we?
During my thoughts and admiration, I heard my younger son running and screaming towards me with scraped/bleeding knees. We both darted our way inside to the first-aid cabinet. To my surprise, we’d run out of band-aids. Yes! We have been using them more than ever during quarantine.
Well, why not? Had we ever biked so often, even during any Summer or Winter breaks?
We were not even aware of all the people who lived within a three mile radius, until quarantine made us discover the surrounding neighborhoods, including our own.
Nature walks have become a daily ritual, encouraging sweet conversations like, ‘Mama, when you were my age, who was your best friend? What was your favorite time during school, elementary, middle or high school? Do you enjoy being a teacher and a mom?’
These are simple questions and you may think that there is nothing special about them. We are so busy in our daily, robotic lives that we often forget to pause and slow down for our children, families, and loved ones around us, and even for ourselves.
Pre-quarantine days, I cannot recall the last time I played Monopoly with my husband and children. Ask me right now… Yesterday! It was one competitive game. Everyone in our family loves buying hotels and has no second thoughts about sending each other to jail 😉
Each Spring, we’ve been Spring cleaning, but this time we made precious discoveries like old pictures, handmade cards, baby clothes and even my now 11 year old’s ‘toddler moving up’ packet from his alma mater. (He is starting middle school this Fall.)
I am also surprising myself by not freaking out on the variety of forts being built in the middle of our living room, as the conversations, giggles and snacks insides those forts are so worth the mess. (Thank you quarantine for teaching me patience!)
My husband and I are also reliving our childhood during the movie nights with our children. Who knew we would be watching, The Land Before Time, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Home Alone (on repeat), Mrs. Doubtfire, Little Rascals again in 2020 with our boys.
As a family we have also been cooking and baking together. I had never baked a cake for my own children’s birthdays. Well 2020 made history yet again as I’ve already baked two birthday cakes in addition to the countless cupcakes, cookies and batches of banana bread. Again, I surprise myself by letting the boys have dessert for dinner. (Thank you again quarantine for slowing down the disciplinarian in me.) It reminds me to let the children enjoy their childhood. The joy and gratifying feeling in listening to the words as they devour their last bite, ‘Best day ever!’ is priceless! These are the simple pleasures we were forgetting while joining the rat race.
The children were on cloud nine when they witnessed the barber skills of their parents. I wonder if they realized that their ‘bowl cut’ was inspired by Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. (Thank you quarantine for adding to my bag of tricks.)
My older son asked me yesterday if Zoom existed pre-quarantine or was developed during this pandemic. My dear son, it was there, it’s just us connecting with family and friends across continents and oceans, now! Quarantine just woke us up from our sleep.
Oh the books we’ve read! Can you blame us? There is no running from one soccer game to another in the same day! No swim lessons, no martial arts class and no birthday parties on the weekends.
Favorite activity number 99: teaming up against each other (depends upon whose lucky day it is) and pulling each other’s leg, laughing our heads off and embarrassing the victim (in a friendly way, of course.)
We are not denying the emotional challenges and struggles that quarantine has brought with it, but I think the silver lining is bolder.
My family and I are not just going through quarantine, rather we are GROWING through quarantine!