“Mom, is Corona gone?”
These sad words were Henry’s first words after opening his eyes when I went to get him up for the day.
We know kids are resilient. We know this won’t last forever. We press forward with the thought that we can endure anything knowing an end is coming.
But this is the perspective of an adult.
Every day is an eternity to Henry. Every day is highlighted by his connection to others. He does not wake up each day to accomplish the tasks on our to-do list. He wakes up each day with the desire to live fully, use his imagination, and spend time with others.
Upon the advent of schools moving to virtual learning, everyone’s to-do list has been altered. It did not affect just the adults needing to go to work and run the necessary errands to govern a household. There is a deeper current at work. Children have had to grieve lost connections and experiences that cannot be regained.
With Henry not being of the age to graduate high school or move off to college, his life does not seem to have changed all that much to me. That is not his experience.
I am guilty of not recognizing and validating Henry’s feelings of loss. His innocent question provided clarity to this sin of omission.
That brief moment in time shifted my paradigm for understanding his experience. I am changed because of it. My to-do list will look different because of it.
My boy needs extra time to connect, to snuggle, and to be seen- not simply managed until this crisis is over.
Our challenges make us who we are for what we need to do. I believe there is a design and purpose to our existence and to which time and place in history we are born. There are lessons for us during this time. I don’t want to miss them because I am preoccupied with getting things done.
The price of busy-ness is high- broken connections and missed opportunities.
In a world where we do not know if school will be back to normal anytime soon, or when we will not hesitate to shake a hand or hug a neck, there are some things that will never change. There are things on which we can always count.
This certainty is the legacy I want my children to inherit. I cannot guarantee them what we used to consider a normal childhood with the usual childhood experiences, but they will know their Heavenly Father loves them and is with them through every step, every misstep, every joy, and every disappointment.
In each season of life, each challenge we encounter, and each time we have to rework our to-do list, let’s remember these words from Joshua 1:9:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”