When I picked my daughter up from school in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew they would not return. It was the end of normal as we knew it. Though I was fatigued with daily pick-up and drop-offs, a toddler, and my husband's busy work schedule, I did not realize how we would all be stretched in the coming months.
Thankfully my 6-year old's school was terrific. My daughter's Kindergarten teacher learned the needed technology required to make sure the students met their goals. We leaned into the new schedule, adjusted, and worked hard to stay safe. We enrolled my daughter in a kid's business boot camp that changed her life, and she launched a philanthropic business that gives dolls to girls in need called Ella's Dollhouse. We celebrated six birthdays while quarantined and one anniversary—all on our tiny deck in Southern California.
We learned so much during this time. At rapid speed, we grew our marriage and family to a new level of maturity that we never knew was possible. Pandemic parenting is not the same, and we make concessions daily to compensate for the reality of missed friends, relationships, and peers of all ages. We are 3k miles away from family, and we aren't able to see them, which in a lot of ways is best.
At each turn, we've witnessed regression in our special needs daughter but growth in other areas that we would have never tapped into if it wasn't for the pandemic. As a society, the humanity, empathy, and love that has come out of our common struggles are remarkable. Despite the challenges, we are grateful that our family is safe and well, and we are confident that though it may never be the same, the world will open again someday.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” -Albert Einstein.