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Pandemic Brings Promise to Families- Rebooting Priorities

As we reflect on the past 162 days of this pandemic, (not that we have been counting), I have found that there have been some silver linings to pausing life in the 21st century.

Planting Ilerwoods Orchard

My husband just told me yesterday that he has spent more time with us in these past five months than he has in the 12 years we have been a family. Being a high school administrator does not lend itself to taking bike rides with the kids at 1 pm in the afternoon, stargazing on a Friday night, or even taking a whimsical backpacking trip on a Wednesday. My girls have seen their dad from a distance in the past 6 years. However, these are the nuggets of happiness that we have grown to appreciate while we have been quarantined to this very different lifestyle.

Prior to March 13, 2020, In the midst of parenthood, working, and trying to find small moments of self care time, I have listened to mom after mom saying, I just need a break from this busy lifestyle or I just want to pause life for a moment. . . Well ladies and gentlemen, I guess be careful what you wish for? We have been given that remote with the pause button. And guess what, I am slowly starting to appreciate that pause button. I don’t appreciate that we all will have to manage learning and working from home via zoom lessons. I don’t appreciate that I can’t just go for a run with my girlfriends on Sunday mornings. However, it does allow all of us parents to truly prioritize what is important in our households.

Growing Succulents in our orchard

My girls are 9 and 12, and I feel I have been given a gift to watch them grow and mature into young women firsthand.I have taught them how to can fruits and vegetables in this block of time, family read-alouds of books, how to physically work hard to transform a living space, “the attic renovation,” and how to have patience as we hatched 7 chicken eggs. Please do not misinterpret this. It has not been all fun and games with the family smiling and laughing. There have been a lot of tears, and arguments because we do mourn all the relationships and modern amenities before Covid-19.

But my mind keeps going back to other moments in history when families had to survive through a war, the Great Depression,

or even the loss of a loved one. If families survived all of these hardships for many years, can’t we as a society, endure this moment of history with grace?

I think when life does go back to normal someday, that we might even look back on this time with a few fond memories and I might even miss that time when we are all scrambling in the morning to get our learning stations ready for the day, going into the cellar to find more toilet paper, creating special movie nights in the backyard.

Iler family

Both of my grandpas told me in their later years of life, “I wish I had more time with my family.” They were hardworking individuals, trying to support their families. They did not get to see their children very often growing up, because they were struggling to work multiple jobs and provide for their children. They said, “No man ever wishes they had more time working at their job.” I have been given 162 days of time with my family, and maybe, just maybe, that will help cultivate stronger spirits in my children, resilience, strength, perseverance, compassion. . . because at the end of the day, Isn’t that what we really want to teach our children?

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