We’re over a month into the stay-at-home order, and while juggling two kids, working from home full-time, homeschooling, changing diapers, negotiating nap times, and making approximately one million peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it’s easy to feel like as though you’re doing everything, and getting absolutely nothing done. Yesterday, I was definitely having one of those days. But lunch time was around the corner, which meant it was time for our daily walk around the neighborhood. I sent out a couple quick emails, folded my laptop, gathered the kiddoes, and piled them into our red radio flyer wagon. As I pulled them along, we chatted about roly polies, butterflies, and kept our eyes peeled for dandelions that we could pluck from the grass. As we walked, a woman from a few houses down quickly walked out of her front door and waved to get my attention. “I just want to say,” she said, with her hand on her chest. “I see you walk with your kids by here every single day, and you’re doing an amazing job. I know it’s tough. I have two of my own, and not being able to leave the house is hard. But you’re out here, every day, walking with them, and it’s great.” I mirrored this amazing stranger and placed my hand on my chest. I thanked her for her kind words, walked away, and held back tears. Listen, I’m not a crier, but this woman had no idea how impactful her words were to me in that moment. My two-year-old had been having tantrums all morning, and my five-year-old had basically been glued to the tv since breakfast. I was behind on work emails, the house was a mess, and I’m pretty sure I was still in my pajamas. I was not – by any means – feeling like I was knocking it out of the park. But she saw me out there, pulling my two loud kids in the wagon again, and was kind enough to say out loud what she said she had been thinking to herself for weeks. It would be a great story arc if my day turned around from there, right? The kids were tantrum-free from that moment forward, and we all held hands and skipped into the sunset. Unfortunately, that’s not the way things typically shake out. Only one kid would take a nap, I spent too long making a delicious dinner that neither kid would eat, I battled another ant attack in the kitchen, and went to sleep with a massive headache that remained front and center for the entire next morning. But when the early afternoon rolled around, we turned off the tv, closed the laptop, and the kids piled back into the red wagon – pajamas and all. When my kids look back on this historic time, and recall being in the house for days on end, I hope that the tantrums will be easily forgotten, and that our roly poly hunts and dandelion collections during our daily wagon adventures hold firm.
I know that there are millions of people out there facing challenges that are much more daunting than mine. Unemployment is at a historic level and so many people have no idea what their future will look like. Forbes has a great article on how to donate to a wide variety of communities that really need the support.