It finally happened! After one month of all 5 of us being locked up in a house together it finally happened! And we were doing so well. We had maintained a schedule, a routine, just like all the professionals advised. The hubs would get up and “go to work” 7AM-7PM, kiddos would start school around 9 or 10AM, we’d go on a walk in the afternoon, finish up school around 4PM, all come together for dinner, & then rinse and repeat. SO what happened? Spring Break!
After being quarantined for a month this mommas has pretty much exhausted all her creativity, you name it & we had done it….forts, slime, baked, movies, virtual field trips, tours, arts & crafts, learning dances, scavenger hunts, etc. So on our first day of Spring Break I figured we could all just chill. BAD idea!!
We always had something to look forward to, which is SO VITAL in life, but especially in quarantine.
My youngest was putting a puzzle together in the dining room, I was starting dinner, and that’s when it happened. I heard the older two yelling at each other (not uncommon), and then my middle child, my optimistic, not giving up, I’ll find a solution kiddo came downstairs and rushed over to me in tears. He expressed that he just missed playing with his friends, going places, and just let it all out in-between sobs. It was in that moment that I knew I had to mom-up and make something happen. But what?! The first day of Spring Break has always been special, even when we’re in town, we’d go to the movies, go on a day trip, tour a factory, we did something, we always had something to look forward to, which is SO VITAL in life, but especially in quarantine. I realized I had failed; I hadn’t given them anything to look forward to. I stood in the kitchen embracing my taller than me 12 year old son, thinking hard, what could we do? We can walk or eat, those are our basic options….we’re totally living a dog’s life! lol! I said a little prayer & then it hit me! I grabbed the sunblock and demanded everyone get in the car, “It’s Spring Break, baby!!!”
Once in the car I put the heat up all the way, passed around the sunblock, opened the sunroof, & blared some fun summer-inspired music. I surprised them with Chick-fil-a, they could have “Freedom Fries” or “Shake it Off”. I then drove them around the mall, asking what stores they wanted to stop in once the mall opened. Finally ending with the Dillard’s parking garage, I drove up on the roof, we parked, looked out at the horizon and as the kiddos finished their fries/shake we had “An American Tail” moment. I asked the kids were they would like to be right now for Spring Break, and they replied with, “Lake Michigan”, “Smoky Mountains”, & “Niagara Falls”.
I then explained that in each of those places I bet there is a kiddo wishing they were here (okay, might have been a stretch, but you get where I’m going with this), we then talked about all the amazing places our community has to offer and how wonderful it is to be given the opportunity to miss them, to realize how much they actually mean to us, & how excited we will be once everything opens back up. And then I put a perspective cherry on top of our Spring Break quarantine sundae….”I want each of you to remember this moment. Remember how sad and hopeless you felt an hour ago. What changed? Did your circumstances change? Did the quarantine lift? No. What changed was your own mind, your outlook, you each have such an amazing instrument that you have total control over, but you must practice, just like you practice the piano, flute, or ballet. When you feel yourself going to an unpleasant place in your mind, pray and practice looking for the good, lifting your spirit, engage your senses, and remember this moment…smell the sunblock, feel the heat, hear the music, & taste the freedom fries. Do not allow the circumstances of your environment to control you, for even in the midst of a pandemic you can find joy. Life is a gift, a gift to be lived, we are quarantined to save lives, there is selfless love in that & it is my hope that you never return to the way life was before, because each of you have grown so much and learned so much through this experience, it would sadden me to see you go back to a lesser time”. As we drove down the parking garage, arms up in the air as if coming down a roller coaster, screaming in enthusiasm, I could feel the tension, pressure, & the fog of negativity lifting.
How are you & your kiddos doing, loves?