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Challenge: Pandemic Parenting

The Story of Us

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Photo credit: Ana Azevedo – Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we will tell Baby Boy someday about the world he was created in and born into – What we will tell him about The Story of Us.

As I reflect back on the beginning of his story (and, in general, on the past year), I have found myself wondering about a lot of things, like:

… How has it already been a year since the pandemic began? But, also, how has it only been a year?

… Will he even believe the tales we tell?

… Will he have the same sense of awe and disbelief about the current times that I did hearing my grandparents recount wartime rations and outrunning dust storms during the Dust Bowl? Will he have a similar reaction when we tell him our own stories (repeatedly, I’m sure) of shortages of toilet paper (and soap, and sanitizer, and meat, and – currently – prenatal vitamins), or of how face shields and KN95s became a part of our daily wardrobe?

… Will he understand the pause and the stillness at the moment the world seemed to stop and everything turned on a dime, forever (or for now, at least) changed?

We will tell him of the uncertainty the world faced and how we coped.

… How we didn’t know what to do when the unprecedented things became precedented.

… How we arrived to meet family at a restaurant in March 2020, greeting one another with hugs, and sharing stories and laughs over shared plates and chips and dip (of course without double dipping, though a flip-and-dip was still allowed – unimaginable now, I know). How we proceeded to receive a cascade of breaking news alerts in the next 45 minutes – games being cut short, sports seasons being cancelled, flight bans being placed, quarantines being implemented, and national borders being closed – leaving us stunned, wrapping up dinner quickly, and saying our evening farewells with socially distanced waves and an awkward elbow bump.

… How we all hunkered down, taking it one day at a time for a couple weeks, then a couple more weeks, again, and again (and… still going!), going about a new normal full of virtual socializing and “smizing” (aka – smiling with your eyes, for those who aren’t sure what to call that above-the-mask-eye-crinkle we now rely on to signal we are smiling).

We will tell him how, though the stores and restaurants and all but essential office buildings closed for a time, we kept on looking to the future and moving toward its hope.

We kept going.

We kept dreaming.

And here our dream is, kicking in my belly, as we navigate our way through our new normal together.

We will tell him how he was there every step of the way…

… my little sidekick while getting our vaccine to hopefully end this pandemic (Woohoo! Thank you, Science!).

… my tag-along everyday at work, as we gear up in masks and face shields, ready to dive into another day of clinic.

… my zen little buddy breathing in and out with me each and every moment, with me breathing just a bit easier (even during those occasional jabs that momentarily take my breath away!) everyday we get closer to his arrival date.

So, as he flips in my belly, I flip through the pages of the calendar in my mind, counting the weeks and days until his expected arrival then I take a moment to flip back to recount the months that we’ve ventured through together so far. I reflect back on the past several months that have shaped not only his body in mine, but that have shaped our lives in more ways than one. And, as I do, I can feel the anticipation mounting and the belly butterflies starting up an ol’ Irish dance (or are those baby hiccups?), as I eagerly await the days I can tell him The Story of Us time and time again.

Post was originally published on The Joyfulosophy.

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