Remember back in March 2020 we thought we would hunker down for a few weeks tops, then by summer we would be back to eating ice cream on boardwalks?
I remember the first zoom birthday I attended for the first 40th birthday of one of my good friends. All of us on the call were excited, giddy and full of unbridled optimism. We were going to sit home for 6 weeks top, eat snack, read, learn to a new skill, take a course, start a new business for some, catch up on shows and have happy hours over zoom to "flatten the curve" so that we can get back to "normal life". Oh how naive we were!
Then the zooms got less bubbly, and less frequent. My crew and I cancelled our 40th Mexican Excursion.
I can see we really did our best to flatten the curve. We stayed away from family, we got grocery delivery services and spent a small fortune on masks, taxis, sanitizers and new "things" and services to keep COVID-19 at bay.
There's however another major challenge we all had to contend with. Our children who are still in their developmental stages were now cut off from school, playmates and extended families. My precocious and independent child, now needed to be "carried" all the time and spoon-fed.
During our trips to the playground, she seemed weary and afraid of other children because how do you explain the necessity of sanitizers and masks to a 3 year old without it turning her into a germophobe?
Overtime I started to realize the effects of this new life on her developments were actually just as real and scary than the threat of COVID-19 itself. I was lucky enough to have a small pod with my best friend and niece and we made it work.
We went outside, we had play dates and we gave them as much normal as possible. The beauty is for little kids a birthday party can be LIT with just 3-4 of them jumping around.
We are now a full year into this and most schools are still closed. I was lucky enough to have Grace in a Pre-K program that stayed open and she recently started going in person. We still do playdates with our pod, we do one on one music lessons and looking forward to restarting swim. We make life as normal as possible for our children. We traveled recently for a change of scenery for few days, We do it scared, masked and protected, but we do it.
I think I am writing this to express the heartbreak we are all experiencing that nearly a year later, we are still dealing with this "new normal", we are all mourning our old lives and I am too. But as part of me is dealing with this grief, the survivor in me is slowly grasping at building this new fulfilling life despite COVID.
Build your tribe, build your routine and do what you need to do. Everything in life is a risk, protect yourself from COVID but also protect you and your family's life for the adverse effects of going into a bunker forever. There is light, seek it, find it, Ignite it.
In love, health and presence of mind