Caregivers will tell you that for us, living through this pandemic is oddly similar to the way we live our regular lives. Caregivers are acutely aware of how the world around us may impact the health, well being, and safety of the people for whom we love and provide care.
For some of us, it may means that much needed help is unavailable because the risk of exposure is too high. For others, it could mean that you’re working double or triple duty at home – full time job, managing kids and school, and caregiver duties. For us, it means we’ve all decided to become the bubble wrap that helps protect our darling from this tiny (seriously, viruses are tiny) terror.
But even as I sit here memorializing my thoughts, there’s a strange sense of déjà vu that I can’t shake and it has nothing to do with caregiving.
My brothers and I grew up simply. We had a really wonderful childhood, thanks to our loving and doting parents, but it was simple. We spent A LOT of time together – the five of us – and maybe that’s why I like my siblings (and my parents) so very much as an adult.
As I look down the barrel of what could possibly be the longest, loneliest, boringest summers of my adult life…I’m a little bit excited at the prospect of building closer relationships with each other.
The kids have been finding so much joy in blowing bubbles, sidewalk chalk, running through a sprinkler (it’s Texas, we’re hot), riding bikes, reading really good books (our oldest is ALMOST done with the first Harry Potter book), listening to music they have no business knowing about (Queen and AC/DC and Journey are at the top of their list) and watching SO MUCH SPONGEBOB. On sunny days, we go outside in the early evenings and they chase toads and terrorize the June bugs. On rainy ones, they build legendary play forts with every pillow and cushion known to man and in my house.
These are the things I found joy in when I was little. These are things that I still find joy in!
They fight, nearly all the time, but in the moments when they aren’t fighting – they are making up and acting out the grandest LEGO adventure stories. I’m actually jealous because they have the most creative minds.
It’s strange to say this but this is kind of the childhood I was hoping they could have, but it’s hard to make this happen in our situation. I work full-time, they go to school and daycare afterward, after school activities take up a lot of our free time – there isn’t much time left over to do any of this other stuff.
I won’t lie though – this has been really, really hard for me. Wonderful and painfully difficult…but I know that this is temporary, and I know that I’m not alone.