One of my son’s wanted to make a wish on a start last night. He was adamant he stand at the door and wish on the first star he saw. I was working on some masks sitting off to the side and I heard him say, “I wish for ice skates, and coffee cups for my Mama and Mommy, and I wish for all the germs to go away.”
Now I don’t know how he thought of ice skates or where he would go ice skating. I also know my wife has threatened to start throwing out mugs if I buy any more. I am somewhat obsessed with mugs. Apparently we need more though…
When he got to the germs it broke me a little. Followed today by an email from daycare that all kids over 3 are now going to be expected to wear masks at daycare per our lovely state’s Office of Early Childhood Development mandate. Anyone with kids right now is feeling me. You know the pandemic sucks for everyone. But for adults with children between the ages of 0 and twenty it totally blows.
Having kids generally is rough. Having twins also rough. Having twin four year old boys during a pandemic who have to now wear masks at daycare…yeah life is a little much for me right now.
We now can see the smoke from the wildfires across the country. Our sun is orange tinged. We’ve been hit by a hurricane and tornadoes. Race riots. Because yes we are racist in this country. Without the pandemic at a macro level this year has been intense to say the least.
My Dad died a year ago. I legitimately feel age 4 is the worst and most challenging year of parenting for us yet. My sons are high maintenance and even without the pandemic we would have felt isolated this year because it’s very hard to bring them places right now. On a micro level this year has been incredibly stressful on our family.
My business is doing great, but since July I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress related to my business as anyone working in mental health will tell you it’s been a wild ride since March.
All of those things by themselves would be hard for any one to cope with. All of those things and three months of strict stay at home orders, and the constant fear of new stay at home orders, because of a pandemic…that’s a lot.
I’m not including the kittens as a stressor because while they have provided their own stress they are fluffy and playful and cuddly stress relievers for me.
So when Declan wished for all the germs to go away in his innocent little voice I thought, me too kid. In so many ways and for so many reasons me too.
I graduated undergrad in 2007. I started working a nurse that year. I didn’t get a raise for several years and I was told it was because of the 2008 crash. The first three years of my work history was defined by a massive economic downturn. I didn’t grasp it the way I do now. I remember it. I also treat a lot of people now who bring it up as a significant time in their lives because they lost everything. I treat the kids of the parents who lost everything in 2008. They are young adults now. I know in about ten years I’ll be treating the kids of COVID. The kids with memories of losing everything. Parents unemployed. No health insurance. Foreclosures. Divorce. Because people are losing everything.
It’s a bleak post started because of a wish on a star. I know a wish won’t end a pandemic. Science will. Social distancing. Masks. More isolation and more stressors.
I think it’s important to remember those moments though. Those moments when Dec wanted to do something as normal as wishing on a star. I find relief in yoga which I still do regularly thanks to an instructor who started a Zoom yoga class schedule. I find relief in my work and helping others. I feel relief when tonight my son walked up to me and hugged me and spontaneously said, “I love you Mama.” I relished the moment when for a few minutes the boys sat together on the couch with Jackson wrapping his arm around his brother.
If I’ve learned anything from this year it’s that the light and lovely moments are still here we just have to work harder to see them.
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Albus Dumbledore