Viruses Spread, Love Grows

Monday, March 23, 2020

Illustrated GIF by Right Side Studios Illustration
I have a major disclaimer to throw down before I get into the nitty-gritty of the adventures our family has had during this first (and surreal...) week of lockdown social-distancing:

YOU MAY NOT READ THIS AND JUDGE AND OR COMPARE YOURSELF TO ME (or any other well-intentioned mom-blogger) ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE OR NOT DONE WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK. I'M NOT WORKING, SO I HAD THE TIME TO THINK OF CREATIVE SHIT TO DO WHILE WE ARE ALL HOLED-UP LIKE OLD TIMEY BANDITS. IF YOUR KIDS SPENT THE WEEK WATCHING NETFLIX- COOL. WE'RE ALL JUST COPING.

*also: you may have knocked this week out of the park, if so: well done! I wanna hear about it. I'm obviously going to run out of ideas and I'll rely on your creativity to see me through next week*

SO(!) here's the deal: I have three kids; Wyatt (almost 43 12), Aloha (10), and Jo (7), and they are amazing & smart, bright-eyed and their brains are turned on. My husband Derek and I talk to them about what's happening in the world, and they get it, but it's a lot to absorb when you're little. So my challenge through this time has been to think through how they're processing their new reality and the best way to break the information into pieces that they can metabolize. Without fear. I can handle our crazy weird life, but I reeeeefuse to lead with fear in our decisions as a family or to instill paranoia in their little forming identities.

And, to be honest, I needed to establish a schedule to keep us all on track- we spent Monday foggily forming a plan, but not really moving forward, and they all chased me around the house asking nervous questions like: "what are we doing?" and "what if it lasts months and we can't see..." and "can I watch...", until I hid in the bathroom with my phone and scrolled new headlines and twitter feeds for way too long...

So by end of day Monday, we had made a daily schedule and Tuesday we threw it up on the wall.

The rest of the day Tuesday was spent nailing down what projects the kids were going to attempt first. For Wyatt, I wanted to give him some perspective on COVID-19, let him own the information he finds and really understand it. He happens to love the Middle Ages, so I figured what better a time to learn about the Black Plague (the origin of it, how it was transmitted, who it affected, how it was identified & contained, how/if it was eradicated) and then answer same questions for the new pandemic and compare and contrast. He's decided to organize the research and create a slide-show. COOL! The hope in this project is that he'll have a better understanding of what's going on in the world right now through a comparative historical context, but also, he's getting thoroughly grossed out by pictures of plague-y ridden black fingertips, so a fever and dry cough aren't registering as terrifying anymore. Bonus.
Wyatt presented his project in our home office, affectionately known as: "The Bridge" #nerds
With my girls I took a different approach, we decided to scour the internet for good-news stories popping up on the interwebs showing the redeeming side of human nature during times of trial *fist-bump Mr. Rogers.* Aloha, the older of the two, listens to the stories and then gets to the task of assembling a book full of these stories complete with pictures.
Turns out writing and illustrating books is genetic #dadisanillustrator
Jo and I spent the week creating a giant Love Grows Tree, where we make leaves that correspond with each story so we can be visually reminded everyday that while we're experiencing a challenging time, good things are also growing! 
Art projects on the floor, yeeeeeees!
Our smallest sprout putting up the first sign of life on our Love Tree
We spent time in the mornings immersed in these projects, but we also went out for walks with the dog, danced around the house, played games, had family dinners, and watched a few movies. No stress guys, so good! The routines we put in place at the beginning of the week were actually a huge win. I wasn't militant about sticking to the schedule, there was flexibility, but overall it actually gave boundaries and structure to the days in a way that made the kids feel safe and calm because they knew and could anticipate what was coming next. 

A house filled with joy and peace at a time when the grown-up world is loosing it's nuts??? 

Wiiiiiiiiiin.

That isn't to say it was an easy week... Nope. Not even a little. I definitely comfort ate a few stacks of Oreos (COVID-19 *wet-raspberry sound* as in: COVID-19lbs went straight to my arse while in social-isolation) went to bed early every night emotionally fatigued and woke up most days on the verge of a migraine. Because for sure there is uncertainty, times are really intense, I'm concerned and praying daily for vulnerable people in my sphere/community/world, I have no clue what tomorrow holds for our health or careers, and I'm missing my friends and family like crazy; but that's the dynamite that I'll swallow so that my kids retain memories of how the adults in their lives rallied for their sense of well-being and security during such an unstable time.

We'll tell them the whole story one day.

Xo.
C.




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1 comments

  1. Your sister posted this and I felt super blessed to have gotten a peek into your daily (albeit altered) current life! Incredible Char! What you’re doing for your little family is super inspiring!
    Keep up the good work but don’t forget to take care of mama too! ❤️

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