Here we are me, my husband and our three kids roaming around the house wondering when all this virus stuff is going to be over. It's been an interesting journey so far. At first, we thought it would be a good time to make up on some vacation activities, like we were handed some free days to spend creating memories and exploring with our kids. We very quickly learned that this is not vacation time that it may last way longer than we originally thought. I mean, we could vacation at a cabin in the woods in total isolation, but we still need to pay the bills and neither of us have an unlimited supply of money hidden in a treasure chest buried in the yard.
We also realized the kids still needed to keep learning. Each of our kids are in very pivotal grades. Our high school junior will be a senior next year and she is taking a full load of AP classes for college prep this year, her academics are very important to her. All the SAT’s and ACT’s are canceled or postponed. She has college dreams and we want her to follow those dreams.
Our eighth grader is preparing to go to high school next year. We are actually more concerned about her emotional well being. Going from a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond can be a hard transition. Not having that confidence boost of being on top and ruling the school with her friends may not fare well for her in the long run and we want her school transition to be as smooth as possible next year.
Our youngest is in his last year of elementary school and he will tell you he has it the worst of all of them. All of his class field trips have been canceled along with his 5th grade camp at Cedar Springs. Camp is like a right of passage into middle school and how can he go to middle school without having gone to camp! He is devastated.
With all the concerns and uncertainty from our kids, we also still have to work. My husband works for a tech company and we are grateful for his ability to work from home. I have my small photography studio that I am currently trying to figure out. I am trying to think about all the things that I can do to keep my doors open and at the same time keep my community safe.
We have had to take every day as it comes. Today is Monday, he has work meetings in the morning and in the afternoon so I will take today to get the kids schedules organized and keep them on track. Tomorrow I have some zoom meetings, a possible photo session, and some editing to get done so he will pick up the kids schedule and keep them on track while I get my work done.
In a way, this crazy virus has brought us together. We are in full power parent mode. Taking the time to have a cup of coffee in the morning together to discuss that day’s schedule. Seeing the kids for lunch, helping them out with their projects. Having rambunctious dinners as a family talking about what’s going on and laughing about the amount of smoke that came into the house from the fire that my husband started in the front yard to burn the fallen branches that afternoon.
It’s not our norm, usually one of us has to rush out the door taking our coffee to go so we can get the kids to school or to make a meeting on time. Rushing to pick the kids up from school in the afternoon and juggling the times for track or cub scouts. By the time we get home in the evening we are frantic to get a nutritious dinner on the table, the homework completed and the kids to bed only to do it again the next day.
I am starting to think that our super parent powers are having an important impact on our kids. They get to see us respond to a big change. They get to learn how we are dealing with that change, they get to hear us present a unified front with an understood plan and most importantly they are experiencing the strength of family.
Even though this time seems uncertain and we have no idea when the world will get back to normal, I still believe there is a silver lining to all of this. World problems, failed academics, social pressures and lack of money will always be a part of my kids' world and I am grateful that from this point on they will understand that even when these things happen to them, we will always be here as a unified front to help them. Our family will bind together to laugh, to cry, to worry, to overcome. They are being reminded that family is the main reason we do anything at all.