A Different Perspective
This is a year that will go down in the history books as the one we spent the most time with our kids.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I remember seeing a cartoon in my inbox. The setting was 20 years in the future. A parent and child were having a conversation that went something like this: “Remember that COVID-19 pandemic?” asked the child.
While the parent bemoaned all of the ways the pandemic upended her life and caused a sense of instability, unemployment, financial insecurity, and fear of contagion, the last frame had the child remember that earlier time as “the best year of my life.”
The answer, while at first perplexing, becomes a bit clearer when you see this year from our kids’ perspective.
Parents who traveled for work stayed home more. Simple pleasures like watching Netflix, eating dinner at home and puzzle-making were interwoven with daily events. We all rushed less and stayed at home more.
And we certainly experienced our kids up close this year.
Some of us became their teachers, cheerleaders, sports coaches and therapists.
I certainly learned so much more about my children in 2020. I learned how they think and what triggers them. I enjoyed watching their hobbies turn into competencies. And I stood and struggled by them as they struggled.
Our kids experienced us up close too. They probably learned what delights us, what triggers us, how we work and how they can work out how to get what they want from us.
This was not an easy year. Our homes were sometimes pressure cookers and other times they felt like places of refuge.
What I learned most in 2020 is how vulnerable we all are and how we are always in the process of becoming. The road of raising and nurturing young lives is long. It takes stamina, it takes faith and it takes love.
So as 2020 is about to close and 2021 will open up a new chapter in our lives as individuals, families, and as a larger community of humanity,
I offer a prayer:
There is no ”I” without “us.”
Our breath is always there to calm and center us.
We can always tune in to a moment to be grateful for, however big or small.
We are all vulnerable, and our vulnerability is what makes us human.
Our elders are our best teachers. When we are stuck, ask them.
We are always in the process of becoming.
Love and wishes for an easy passage into 2021,