Presence in Disruption
For the past two and a half weeks my kiddos have been home due to COVID-19 and the corresponding school closures. My husband and I are fortunate to be able to be home with them and not have the added stress and worry about having provisions during this time. I am all too aware that is not everyone's story. Nevertheless it has been hard adjusting to this new normal and for the first week it was pretty much a hot mess. Kids having meltdowns and us parents not knowing how to structure their day with new responsibilities of home schooling now sitting squarely on our shoulders. You would have thought ,seeing their Daddy was once a second grade teacher in a former life, he would have a little more success that first week implementing his grand plans of project based learning and customizable education. He did not. It was a battles of the wills between he and the girls and the girls slayed all day!! He was tired and frustrated and so ready to hand me the reins when I got home.
The next two weeks have gotten progressively better. I am now "social distancing" and working from home and we have a schedule that we set intentions around every morning. We then do yoga, school work, morning reading, lunch, outside time and free play(usually involving both screen and non-screen time), chores then dinner. As we go through out the day sometimes we follow it and sometimes things get shuffled around which we have learned is unavoidable. Being malleable and patient with each other has been the mantra we have been living by as we have been shut-in these past weeks and it is what has helped us not just survive but thrive. we still get on each others nerves at times but it is usually short lived and we are able to return back to the moment and not linger in the aggitation.
Being in the moment, Actually sitting down to eat lunch together after I prepare it has helped me learn so much about the girls. Listening to conversations unfold naturally and seeing their curiosity around topics like how a successful family dance party should be organized to issues around viruses and the impact of COVID-19 on our daily life and the lives of others. It is truly amazing to be present with the kids during this time because I get to know them more deeply. I look at the almost 2 year old and actually can get to see the evolution of this little personality during this ever changing period of her life. I said to my husband, "wow, I don't think I knew this this little girl before the shut-in." Today we are going to plant some flowers. Literally going to "smell the roses." It truly has helped us keep our sanity to live moment by moment not giving much mind space to worry and the future. It seems more uncertain because of everything going on but really it has always been uncertain. Not promised. All we ever have is today, this moment. So today, for us, it is hands to dirt and hearts open.