I get the feeling that in the old days, people had kids to add more hands to the labor pool. The more bodies, the better to help plant, pick, and pickle. And yes, they were all jammed into small cabins on the prairie or in the hollow much like we are today. Welcome to our ancestral American Roots where you were lucky if you survived bizarre daily accidents and went on to procreate yourself.
Fast forward to modern day 2020 and we have all been reduced to huddling in our prairie huts with our families riding out the viral storm, living the past in the present Laura Ingalls Wilder style.. This occasion gives the thinkers like me time to stop and consider who we are and what we think. And what I discovered about myself is that I am foremost, a mother. The well-being of my children physically and mentally is at the top of my everyday priority list. Yes it’s nice if they can haul in the groceries and unload the dishwasher but their mere existence is joy enough for me.
So in the first couple weeks of our lock in, I was acting much like I did when we would take them as young children to the beach for a couple overnights. I’d end up worrying all night about if they were getting enough sleep and I’d get no sleep while they’d sleep like the babies they were.
These first couple weeks of seclusion, I wanted to help my daughter to feel safe. I wanted to be there for her and lighten her load and not add to it. As Moms around the world were doing, I was thinking of the children first. Because I understand this better. Because I remember what it was like to not have my feelings be prioritized. Because I esteem them so that they will esteem them.
But I also learned that they needed to grieve for the loss of their normal. They eventually would grieve in their own time and their own ways and I had to step back and be present and allow for this to happen. I can not take away their pain. They are entitled to it. It is theirs. But they also turned to me to feel safe to feel this grief. And that’s truly all we can do for our family and our friends, just witness all the craziness with them and know that soon, this will all be a nightmare.
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