I’m not sure when I last had a time in my life when I felt so many emotions in one day. Somedays I might wake feeling overwhelmed, dreading the balance of juggling schoolwork and wondering what we will cook for dinner that night, but other days my mood may have lifted so my heart feels a bit more optimistic about the future and I can enjoy the time spent playing with my children.
If we as adults are struggling with our feelings, I can only imagine what our little people are going through. Never in my life did I expect to live through a pandemic, let alone support my children through one. And yet these are the times we find ourselves in and all we can do is adapt and survive.
I have been amazed at how well my children have adjusted to our new lives in lockdown. They have enjoyed, for the most part, their time at home – riding bikes outside, playing with toys that were long forgotten, paging through piles of books in the reading corner, camping out in a tent, learning new boardgames and having sleepovers in one another’s rooms.
That’s not to say we haven’t had our wobbles. There have been times when they have stormed to their rooms, slammed the door and asked to have some alone time. We have had requests to go for a drive, a few tears about missing their friends and teachers, and worries about upcoming birthdays.
During these times I’ve found my heart to be a little sore, thinking about what troubles they have on their heart. But love in the times of troubles is the same when you think about it. You find yourself drawing nearer to God and loving your family even harder. You embrace being a little silly to make everyone laugh and you find your patience somehow can grow even more if need be. Despite the hard times, I’ve felt myself becoming a bit more soft.
I want my children to remember this lockdown time as special, a time when we baked banana muffins, drew with chalk on the driveway, sang songs on the top of our voices, snuggled every chance we got, and watched intently as the flowers we had planted bloomed.
Of course there are tough times too, but let’s hope they remember the big hug I gave instead of when I lost my cool, the big hug they gave me instead of seeing me at the end of my line in tears, the happy video calls with my family instead of my desperate worries over my parents getting ill.
We’re eight weeks in, and we don’t know how many more to go. I’m going to try let my children’s excitement over treasure hunts, their squeals of delight over chocolate eggs and bubble baths, and happiness at helping to cook their favourite meal motivate me to get through the remaining time and create more special memories for us all.