She'll remember this pandemic.
She'll remember how her little sister called it "the sickies" and how, because of it, we couldn't go anywhere.
She'll remember hearing about "the rona" on the news, on her class zooms, and in way too many of her parents' conversations.
She'll remember the mask, how strange it felt to wear, and how it made her look and feel like a doctor.
Speaking of doctors, she'll remember reading and hearing about these everyday heroes.
She'll remember asking me, "Who is Dr. Fauci?"
She'll remember missing her friends, missing dance, missing her teachers and missing school.
She'll remember canceled athletic competitions, cruise vacations, and family gatherings.
She'll remember wondering if she'd still be in quarantine on the day of her ninth birthday.
She'll remember being bored.
She'll remember lots and lots of screentime.
She'll remember her emotions ebbing and flowing like waves.
She'll remember watching her mom and dad trying to surf their own.
She'll remember that this time in her life was a bit hard.
But, do you know what else she'll remember?
All the good that came out of it.
All the good that was present during it.
All the good she felt while all the scary and bad was happening in the world around her.
She'll remember FAMILY.
She'll remember being with hers, and she'll remember that no place felt safer.
She'll remember two parents who sidelined their own needs and tasks, to tend to and help with hers, day in and day out for weeks upon weeks.
She'll remember deepening her connections with her siblings.
She'll remember playing Wii and Pictionary and swimming in her pool.
She'll remember homecooked meals on the weekdays and yummy delivery on the weekends.
She'll remember lots of movie nights and lots of late nights.
She'll remember play wrestling and snuggling.
Sure, she will remember this pandemic and how it made her feel.
But more importantly, she will remember her family and how they made her feel during it.
You see, you give a kid a piece of chalk and a sidewalk and they'll use it thank their teachers and healthcare workers, as they should.
But, give a kid a piece of chalk and a blackboard in her home's kitchen and she'll use it to remind her loved ones that fill it just what else she's thankful for
...like her family.