On Saturdays, we give Kelsey and Makayla one-on-one time with Katy or me during Emma’s naptime. It’s something they asked for, and we decided to try it. Last Saturday, Makayla and I rode razor scooters down to the reservoir and played tag around the gazebo. We raced and laughed and sat and ate snacks. When we’re all together, the conversation is (for now) filled with interruptions as our three girls are in three very different stages of life and all try and talk to us at once. I treasure the conversations that happen when they’re by themselves.
Makayla tells me about how much she loves our house and how she wants to bring her kids to see our woods someday if she has them. I think about the office I have yet to finish or the trim I have yet to put up in the living room and how in the midst of the pandemic, we built them a treehouse instead. She talks about what a fun year she’s having and how if you could have too much fun, we’d be in danger of that. I think about the impromptu magic shows, the games of make believe, hide-n-seek in the dark with flashlights, and marvel that somehow it has stacked up against hardly any playgrounds, time with cousins, hugs from family, and remote learning to be enough for a fun year, let alone a “too much fun” one.
Someday, when she grows up, I wonder if she’ll understand better what the year of the pandemic was and how much raw effort it took to help our kids enjoy 2020-21. About a year ago, we sent notes with Makayla for the parents of a couple of the girls in her class to see if they’d like to have playdates. We’re shy by nature, but she wanted to so badly that we did it for her. The pandemic began in earnest the week after and our bubble closed for the last year.
I’m so terribly proud of our kids and so grateful for how they have dealt with the pressures and disappointments of all this, pivoting week after week and treating Katy and me with understanding and kindness past their age. I know it’s not the end yet, but I hope that somehow, now that the vaccine is rolling out, there will be one soon.
Joel and Katy