Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Time Traveling

For a sentimental, change-averse sap like myself, all of the cliches about childhood passing too quickly hold true. At this moment in time, everything has slowed down. My kids are the same age they were when this lockdown all started but it feels like they have been quarantined for a year already. I have said so many times in the past  that I wished I could freeze time, slow down the clock and keep them little just a little bit longer. Well, my wish seems to have been granted. The aspect of my mothering that doesn't like to let go is getting a chance to thrive here.

There is no need for anyone to chime in with "be careful what you wish for." Savoring every moment with your family isn't always a picnic. We are all having a good day here if we each only cry once a day, myself included. Little quirks in my family members are magnified too largely to ignore. The small stuff is starting to cause me a lot more than just sweat. Clutter in my house seems impossible for me to walk by. No matter how much I clean the house, I can't seem to finish cleaning it. My husband and I used to argue playfully about who had to take the dog out and now we beg to be the one who gets to walk her. I don't have enough silence, personal space or alone time. I am annoyed, frustrated, angry, tired, upset and yet I still know I am lucky. I am home, I am safe, I am healthy.

This was the time that as a family we were going to be traveling for a few months. We had planned to do it this year because the second half of sixth and second grade were mostly review that we could do while traveling. We knew after these two grades, work academically would begin to get more challenging. We planned on this age because we knew they were both young enough, and old enough to enjoy travel. We also hoped that being on a traveling adventure would bond us even tighter as a family. As news of Covid-19 began to unravel every idea of traveling, one by one like stitches in a loose seam, I began to grieve.

This time has provided us with some of the elements of what I wanted out of a big international trip. I wasn't thrilled with middle school for my daughter. I am honestly relieved she doesn't have to finish out sixth grade at school. We are bonding together closely as a family, through thick and think. My kids are each other's best friends now, and it shows. When my kids were afraid of something unknown ahead of them, I used to tell them that the flip side of being afraid is being excited. I go between those two feelings often now and am learning to stay positive as much as possible. I am not hiding my rainbow of emotions from my children right now. I am hoping that showing them that it is okay to feel feelings right now and that we are all in this weird thing together. Its okay to acknowledge it's hard and to let them know they are doing so well dealing with it all. As hard as this all is, I think all of us will look back at this time with fondness for the time we've been able to spend together. We may not have gone very far from home at all, but we are definitely on a long journey away from our normal life. Our scrap book will look very different than I thought, but there will still be a lot of amazing memories from this time.

Photo Credit: Orit Harpaz

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