It’s here! I’m an Enneagram 6 and one of those disastrous things my kind fixates on is here! Whew, I can stop worrying about a disease outbreak for a few years and focus back on other bizarre plans for “what’s the worst that could happen?”
In all seriousness…if you travelled during Spring Break, it’s likely the overnight news break of “this is a big deal in Italy” shifted to “Spring at the Silos is cancelled” hit you in the gut. It went from overseas to our backyard in a flash. As an Airbnb owner and manager of multiple houses, we saw cancellations left and right. Thankfully, Texans aren’t afraid to drive and we had several last minute adventurers swoop in for amazing deals on lodging. For Spring Break, I took our three daughters to visit my sister’s family in San Antonio and I was on the phone half the week coordinating lodging, refunds, relationships, and more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I love my job and we had a super fun time, but it was a very very very long week.
My husband and I are very close friends. We keep tabs on each other pretty well, emotionally and physically. He is miserable when us 4 girls aren’t with him. So as COVID-19 escalated to events shutting down left and right, we both felt the pull for me to get home safely to him. I left Friday after lunch and Josh kept tabs on my progress via the Life360 app. Again, I am an Enneagram 6 so naturally while I was driving home, I kept imagining military road blocks up ahead stationed to tell me I couldn’t go home to Waco. It was a huge relief when I turned on our street.
Our world is in a global crisis, however real or plausible it is to even wipe us out at the same rate as Yellow Fever or Spanish Flu, media has made us well aware of Coronavirus. We’re all wondering things like “how long will this last? Will our kids EVER go back to school this spring? Will someone I know die from this? Am I carrying it? If we disinfect everything, will our immune systems take a hit because the good germs are gone too?” Every closure, cancellation, loss of anticipated funds reignites that feeling of crisis.
So, with all that crazy going on inside, we as Mothers still have to coach ourselves back to a cerebral functioning that helps us level back to a healthy state of mind. We have children to train, don’t we? In their adult lifetime, they’ll go through something wild, too. They’ll need to remember with a strong impression how we took care of them and the people around us.
What do we say…
I don’t know. But here’s what I said to my first grader. “School is going to be out for another two weeks. There’s a virus, kind of like a flu, going around that has made a lot of people sick in the world. For old people and people who are already sick, it can kill them. Some countries won’t let people travel, lots of events have cancelled, and we’re all being asked to stay home for a few weeks and not be around a lot of people. They’re asking us to do this so we can help keep the old and sick people from getting the Coronavirus and dying. Isn’t that NICE of the world?” That seemed perfectly fine for my 7 year old. My younger kids didn’t need more than that. Yet.
How we act…
We do not go crazy hoarding.
We do not get mean and grabby with our things.
We do not isolate completely.
We do not turn on our screens and check out.
We DO offer to keep our friends’ kids when we can.
We DO take walks and check on our elderly neighbors and make sure they have what they need.
We DO wash our hands extra careful and learn to stop putting our hands in our mouths.
We DO pray for people around the world.
The bottom line is, in all hardships of life we always have an opportunity. An opportunity to find out who we really are. To show others who we can be, despite who we were in the past. To be the one kind human connection in someone else’s day that gives them a break from their utter loneliness or depression. To be a light on a hill so our children will one day also be a light on a hill.
My husband and I have to remind each other to open our hands and hearts to others when we start to feel down. So I’m here to invite you to open your hearts and hands beside the community of Waco Moms and smile at every Mother you see and ask her how she’s doing over the next few weeks. Be genuine and start building bridges. We do, after all, need each other.