How Will the World be Different for my Sons After this Pandemic?

I have asked myself this question so many times in the past weeks. How will the world be different after this pandemic? What will the world look like as my boys grow up? What will be the markers in their mind where they remember things shifting? How will this mark this generation like those that came before them?

With Memorial Day coming around the corner, I have also thought about some of the big events in history that stand out to so many, where our soldiers have led the way with their bravery. Where the nurses, firefighters and citizens have done their part to move forward each day.

For many people they remember their Fathers going away to fight in wars. They remember hard times where food was hard to come by and families were worried about being bombed.

I was watching a Peter Pan sequel the other day with my boys, thanks to Disney+, and Wendy was the mom whose husband went away to war and the children were being put on trains to go live in the countryside for safety during the war. Thankfully, Wendy’s children were taken off to Neverland for some adventures with Peter Pan instead of going on the train.

While I watched this movie, I was grateful that during this unprecedented time I am able to stay at home with my kids. The grocery stores have caught up on the demand for most necessary items. We can leave our house and go for a walk to breathe in fresh air. We are not running to bomb shelters in the middle of the night.

Yet, I know many of my friends have been on lock down in their cities. Many countries are still facing the peak of the virus affecting their citizens. Many people are living in fear, especially fear for the future.

Again, I ask myself, “How will this change the way we live? How will this change the way my kids grow up?”

I am 37 years old. When 9/11- the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 happened I was a freshman in college. I was just getting adjusted to life in the dorms at the University I was attending. I had grown up in a time where we believed the USA was untouchable. That morning we were made aware of the false security we had been living in. We realized how quickly things could change.

I will never forget watching the towers in New York City crashing to the ground as I stood in front of the TV screen. Classes were cancelled. Life was put on hold. The United States became united as people hung up flags and were proud of their citizenship.

Everywhere you turned you saw people coming together, grieving together, and serving eachother selflessly together.

That moment in history changed people. It changed how things were done. 9/11 reminded people of their vulnerability and how much we need eachother.

Here we are again. Facing a time in history that is affecting the whole world. It is changing the way people do things. It is causing us to face the fact that we are vulnerable and most importantly that we need eachother.

I am not saying that our situation today is the same as a World War, but I am saying that this time will change how we do things. This time will be something we all remember.

My oldest son is 11. This year he started Middle School. Will he remember the new found freedom of being one of the “big kids” at the school? Or will he remember Distance Learning and everyone around him wearing facemasks?

How will having Proms and Graduations cancelled effect the Seniors as they move forward and make decisions in life? Will they life differently because they are more aware of how quickly life can change?

I do not know what life will be like in the future or what the world will look like for my three sons as they grow up.

The only thing I do know is that I will be here for them as they experience new things. I will be here when they cry because they miss their friends-yes even my boys cry. And I will be here to reassure them that they aren’t alone and I am here for them.

I am their mom and I will do whatever I can to comfort them and help them feel secure and confident. I will protect them like a mama bear and I will kick them out of the nest like a mama bird. This is what we do as moms.

My Experience in Quarantine

This time in history has affected each one of us in different ways. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your gender, your race, what you do for a job or the language you speak-we have all been affected.

Last week was a tough week. It was an emotional week. We had arrived to week four of distance learning and our kids were frustrated. Our second grade son was saying things like, “I hate distance learning! I hate doing all my school on a tablet! It was so much better to do school with my friends!”

And of course when my boys are emotional so am I.

I have done regular homeschool in the past so I didn’t think distance learning would be so hard- but I was so wrong! When I homeschool my kids I am the teacher and I make the decisions for what we will study and what activities we will do.

In distance learning I am caught in the middle, a referee of sorts. I am keeping the game moving forward but I’m not on a team. I cried many times last week because my boys would say things like, “My teacher said I have to do it this way. Mom, that’s not how my teacher does it.”

How do I respond? Sometimes I respond with patience and understanding, but not last week.

Last week my responses were filled with frustration. I would respond with, “Well your teacher isn’t here and I am. I also know that a persuasive paragraph should have five sentences!”

All of these feelings, and that was only school related. What about the weight I’m gaining? What about the shower I need to take? What about the meals that need to be cooked? Don’t forget the two year old who thinks I’m the only one who can help him open a pack of fruit snacks.

This week has been better- thankfully! What did I do? I cried out to those around me, LITERALLY.

This shot wasn’t possible last week

I cried with co-workers over a Zoom meeting. I cried with the women from my church small group. I cried with my husband. I cried by myself in my kitchen. And I cried out to God that he would help me push through the frustrations and worries that had been building up all around me.

God is so faithful!

We received a video from my son’s teacher, after reaching out to her via email, about my son’s struggle with Distance Learning. It was so encouraging to both my son and I! The days following the video were completely different, my son was a different child while doing school.

I knew friends were praying for me and they sent me some encouraging texts-reminders that I wasn’t alone. I reached out and shared how I was honestly doing and my friends were able to respond and love on me.

This week was better than the last. Not because my environment was different. Not because the people around me changed. What changed was that I decided to reach out to those who care for me.

Are you hurting? Going through a tough time? Find someone to be vulnerable with. Bringing everything out of the shadows is the best way to fight our fears and anxieties.