Parenting in Isolation – thanks Corona!

This past year has been long and trying. There have been so many ups and downs and twists and turns, it is hard to know how to process and deal with the chaos. Covid-19 came out of left field and left the world struggling to adapt. As adults, we are able to understand and rationalize all of these changes, and even then, we are struggling. We have solid support systems, an understanding of how this virus works and the wisdom behind the precautions. We made adjustments with how we conducted our working lives (many moving to home offices) and we all went out and purchased sanitizer and masks. I don’t think my house has ever been as clean as it was the first 4 weeks of the pandemic. We stocked up on toilet paper and pantry goods, made very careful and cautious trips to the dollar store for crafting supplies (sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!) and dug through our baking supplies for bakers’ yeast in preparation for all the bread we were going to bake. We downloaded Skype, Zoom, Teams and Messenger Video so we could see our families and friends.  We were so prepared and ready for whatever came our way.

But what about our kids? I remember that Sunday night before sh*t hit the fan, telling my daughter that she wasn’t going to school the following day. No daycare in the cards either. I was trying to be chipper and excited, while I was absolutely freaking out inwardly. How on earth was I supposed to facilitate online learning with my own work schedule? Were we even allowed to be outside? Could she go back and forth between my house and her dads? It was a few days of stress before the logistics were sorted out (thankfully she was allowed to maintain her parenting schedule and yes, we could go outside!). While I was a mess, my child was a champion. A real trooper – she kept a positive attitude and she was a true joy to be around. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and her willingness to step up and help out was a tremendous relief.

Somehow, we made it through and the new restrictions enforced became normal. Mask up, scrub your hands, stand apart, be quick – stay safe! We were unscathed and feeling confident. A full year passed and we were still all safe and healthy, no Covid here! Then I got the call – my daughter had to stay home because there was an exposure at her daycare. Daycare was closed and we were not to send her to school or see anyone. I booked Covid tests for myself, my daughter and my partner. Two days later we were tested, one day later my daughter was confirmed as positive for Covid-19. What the actual fudge. Isolated for 10 days for my daughter, and another 14 after that for my partner and I. It was a time of chaos in our home, trying to contact Health Services to figure out what that meant for our split custody schedule, what we were limited to, how great was the risk for my partner and I moving forward. Calls to the school to advise them of the situation, calls to cancel our vaccine appointments, calls to grandparents and parents advising them of the situation. A panicked call to work to advise them that I would do my best to keep my usual hours and productivity levels but couldn’t say for sure that would happen all the time. CHAOS. FEAR. WORRY. ANXIETY.

And then, my daughters wonderful spirit lifting us out of the darkness with her simple, “This is amazing! We are all together now and can just be together”. Enter humility, gratefulness and complete awe for this amazing little girl. Yes – now we can just be together. This is amazing. So we played, watched movies, did crafts, had lots of cuddles, started a few new books and really just enjoyed our time together in isolation.

I truly believe sometimes my daughter is the best teacher I have ever had. She views the world through such a pure perspective, in a way I forgot how to do long ago. Perhaps though, I can learn to get back to it and seek out only the good in each situation. I can hope anyways.

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