I hope as you read this that our lives have begun to return to normal. As I write this, more than a month will have passed before this article will be in print. It would be nice to know if we are now able to leave our home, take a vacation, eat in a restaurant, go in shops and find shelves are once again fully stocked, and no one feels the need to stockpile toilet paper or any other items. Oh, for a crystal ball!
In the meantime, my husband and I have been practicing self-quarantining and social distancing when we have to go out for groceries. We are not allowed to walk on the beach or go to the park. On nice days, I walk around our neighborhood or our daughter’s neighborhood, always maintaining the six feet of separation. I miss the hugs and kisses from my grands, but will give them up to keep us all safe until this pandemic has passed.
I am impressed with my daughters, as always, but especially seeing how they’ve handled having their children home all day, every day. On top of that, having to homeschool them. Our eldest daughter has children in grades 6, 3, and K. Their school has gone online with e-mail lessons for them to print out. Our middle daughter has a first grader and a preschooler. Both schools have arranged for packets of work and crafts to do. Our youngest daughter has a preschooler and a toddler. The preschool also dropped off some craft projects for her. As wonderful as it is for them to keep up with schoolwork, it doesn’t occupy much time during the day. It falls on the parents to figure out other things, besides screen time, to keep them busy.
Before stores closed, our daughters bought lots of materials for arts and crafts. They all, minus the toddler, love LEGOs. Drawing, coloring, puzzles, books, and many other crafts will keep them entertained. On nice days, they will play outside—the Charlotte grands did a wonderful chalk picture on their driveway, which kept them busy for more than two hours. There have also been numerous free educational programs on the Internet when they want to be on their computers or iPads. They also have free time, like recess, to watch a little TV, a movie or play a video game.
As time goes by, however, the days are going to get longer, and it will be harder to fill up the time. They are used to socialization. Most of our grandchildren had after-school activities – sports, dance, library time, play dates, music lessons, etc., that have all been canceled. While most parents can handle a couple of weeks or a month of the total togetherness, it will get more difficult as time goes on. Let’s face it, as much as they love their children, everyone needs a break from being a parent. Possibly missing the rest of the school year, and still self-quarantining, is not easy on anyone. It is, however, the right path to be on in order to wipe out this disease.
Maybe, before the next school session starts in the fall, schools will hold a prom and have a graduation ceremony. These are just a couple of the milestones high school seniors look forward to. It would be a shame for school administrators not to figure out some way they can still have these memories. I already know several of our grandchildren’s events we love attending every year have been canceled. As much as we will miss them, we’ll all survive, knowing it was the right thing to do.
I had to chuckle when I realized my entertainment was much like my grandchildren’s. I have read books, worked puzzles, played online brain games, watched movies and TV series, taken online French lessons, done crafts, and “played” outside. Whatever you are doing to avoid getting sick, keep it up! Remember, Hope Springs Eternal!