Sunday, May 17, 2020

We've Moved Onto The Sadness Portion of The Pandemic

I was going to type and print an "official" sign but I couldn't bring myself to do it. With all of the changes, I couldn't bring myself to lose the laid back, unofficial way of business around here.

Life returning to normal is becoming a slow reality. Yet it doesn't look "normal." Faces are hidden, there's fear for the unknown, we remain six feet apart from most others, children should be heard but not seen. This seems to be the trend for the foreseeable future. That makes me sad.  

There was a heavy ball in my stomach as I placed a sign on the daycare room door that informed parents they could no longer enter daycare. I feel like I'm breaking apart our little community. Putting up barriers with those that are in our daily lives and who we love dearly. I feel further closed off, even as quarantines are lifted.

I'm sad and nearly mourning for the valuable life experiences my children are missing out on. My oldest will be twelve in a few weeks. It wasn't until I was chatting with a friend that I realized he won't get the experiences of normal twelve year old life any time soon. Going to movies or the mall without parents was a right of passage for twelve year old me. Right now, my twelve year old can't even go into a store with a parent let alone with a friend.

I'm a person who looks at how life's every day experiences can shape a person. A simple trip to the grocery store can teach children so much: how to grocery shop in general, how to pick produce, how to price compare, reading labels, not to mention paying and having small talk with other shoppers or cashiers. A simple meal at a restaurant teaches kids how to order, how to behave, paying, tipping. All of this equates to firsthand experiences and knowledge. Without these simple, everyday things in their lives, my children (and many, many others) are missing out on important life experiences. They're missing swimming lessons, camps, social interactions, traveling, just to name a few. 

Please don't tell me why they're missing them. I get it. I know why they're missing all of these things because I'm living it and still practicing social distancing. No matter what, it still makes me sad for the experiences we should be able to have (safely).

This is all temporary. I have heard this countless times. I've even reminded myself of this throughout the last eight weeks. As I write lines such as "for an indefinite amount of time," or "for the foreseeable future," it doesn't seem temporary. It's sad. Of every emotion I've felt in the last two months, sadness has settled in when I think about the changes that are occuring, the changes I make for my business and for my family.

Eight weeks ago, I never would have thought about not letting people in my house (or not letting my children go into stores). Most days my doors were unlocked and numerous children, parents, friends, and neighbors dropped by at every hour of the day. I've grown accostumed to this, it's been our way of life for nine years. To lock our doors and tell people they can't enter seems unnatural to me, especially as I gear up for the (usually) busiest months of business. Instead of spending my time creating a summer theme or trying out new activities, I'm fighting to get the basic supplies for daycare (paint, clay, kits, etc.). As much as I can find the good in life right now, making all of the changes that I didn't want to make brings brings sadness. So on this Sunday night, before we begin our last full homeschooling week for this school year, I'm mourning our way of life being altered and forever impacted.