We’re a solid week (or more) into our new reality of no school, work from home, self-isolation. The new reality of coronavirus has had a profound affect on all of our family members, though we’re happily able to weather these stresses together and – thus far – in good health.
Most noticeable change for the kiddos is no school: no elementary and no playschool for my daughters. Though only 7 and 4 years old, each understands that the reason for this sudden shift is the coronavirus pandemic (“germs that go all around the world to make people sick”). They also know that it’s critical for their health, their unborn baby brother’s health, and their parents’ and relative’s health that they not have play dates or get close to anyone they might see while outdoors.
I am not attempting to homeschool my daughters at this moment. I expect that both their school years’ are over, however, there’s enough latent stress in our house – and in our world – that I don’t find drilling subtraction and spelling to be of any benefit. Our kids are aware of that there’s a major change going on, and they pick up on the stress and uncertainty we adults also have, even though we try to not let too much on.
So, instead of school, we’re learning through play. We’re out in the yard gardening, doing yard work. We’re cooking meals together, planning sewing projects, and writing notes to loved ones (PS: applied math! science! reading! writing!) .
Probably favorite of all for our 7 year old, she and dad are designing and making a computer game. If there was any way to learn a useful suite of skills, it’s designing a game. So far they’ve been diving into graphics creation, movement in Cartesian space, character, plot, and milestone development, all with a huge dose of hilarity and creativity.
We’re spending plenty of time outdoors, individually and together. Family walks are a daily routine. Daddy-daughter hikes let each girl be ‘in charge’ and have the focused attention from a parent for a few hours. I am walking daily, since my other favorite pregnancy activity – swimming – has been curtailed. My husband is walking, running, and hiking. Need I say, our dog is LOVING this.
While I’m stressed out about viruses, global economics, and just reached 30 weeks pregnant (OMG I’m going to be giving birth in midst of a pandemic!), I’m also incredibly grateful to have the luxury of spending time with my daughters and husband. This forced slow-down has let me take the time to snuggle a little longer with these girls who are growing up quickly and to really appreciate the man I’m so glad to be married to.