Social Distancing: Finding A Way

Local News

Take a look at the face above. That is the face of my son…a 6-year-old extrovert seeing his classmates online for the first time since social distancing began. That face makes me smile, but it also breaks my heart.

It’s not easy explaining to our children that they can’t go to school or have play dates with their friends. My son understands that Coronavirus is a sickness that can easily spread. He also understands that for some, it can be deadly. He even understands what it means for his mommy to be immunocompromised.

What he doesn’t understand is, when he sees a friend walk by our house, why he can’t run up to them and chat or play basketball or a game of tag. I mean, he knows he’s not supposed to, but IN THE MOMENT, he doesn’t understand why he has to stop.

Thursday afternoon I messaged my neighbor to ask if her son wanted to come outside and shout across the street to my son. The boys are in the same first grade class and have been close friends since birth.

Well, he came outside and the boys “played” for two hours! My son on one side of the street in our driveway, my friend’s son on their side of the street in his yard. When it was time to come inside, my son looked at my husband and said, “This was the best day. I got to play with Cal!”

That was another moment that made me both laugh and want to cry. The fact that giggling with a neighbor a street’s distance away helped him have “the best day” just shows what time we are living in right now.

Social distancing is not easy, but it is so important. It’s hard for adults and children alike. Our way of life has changed, at least it should have changed, for now.

Some have lost their jobs and are home. Many of us who are fortunate to still be working, do so from home. That is certainly not an easy task. The days are filled with work, children needing our attention, school work with our kids, more of our work of the day, getting meals ready, and entertaining our children. Screen time monitoring has gone by the wayside some days (many days?) so we can simply get our jobs done.

Show of hands from those whose children have popped into the background of an online meeting to loudly announce they need to go pee…or something else? How about children who unexpectedly walk away from their math homework to join their mommy on live TV? I’ll raise my hand for that one.

I’m still laughing…mortified?…no…I’m laughing about my son jumping on the air with me today. It’s so important to find humor and laugh when we can in this situation.

We are in this together: Adults and children. Let’s find the bright moments and hold on to them. This is a time we will never forget.

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