Behind on my blessings, I’m playing catch up. These are more things I’m truly grateful for- the pharmacy drive-thru on a blustery day, treating myself to coffee and a donut, playing before the bus comes, a week of birthdays, and a new generation of Pokemon masters.
A quiet stroll through a favorite resale shop, a covered gas station on a rainy day, a good book and ginger ale, a warm pup, and finding a Thanksgiving cactus the first place I looked. I’m thankful for these.
“There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won’t.” ~Rabindranath Tagore
As we headed out for a leisurely ramble through the woods, we should have known that it would be anything other than leisurely. Our six year old trail guide/self-appointed group leader made sure of that. While we were hoping for a pleasant stroll through the woods, our fearless leader was certain adventure would be found around the next curve in the trail.
He resisted taking the well-worn paths and gave a good fight for why we should wander straight into the woods with no regard for where we were. How were we going to find adventure if we walked along the boring old path? He trudged steadily up the trail, pausing only to make sure I was close behind. He would call out, “Be sure to keep up! You don’t want to be left behind!” When I asked if it wasn’t important to keep his group together he simply replied that I was the most important person in the group and as long as he knew where I was, all was good with him. I turned to the others and said, “Looks like you’re on your own.”
We all gave an inward sigh of relief after a close inspection of the muddy mosquito-ridden swamp/creek looked like to risky an endeavor to tackle. We had a slightly disappointed trail guide on our hands but he perked up as he noted that our path was leading us up a steep incline. 90 degrees. 10000000% humidity. No water. If I didn’t know any better I would think that the six year old had planned this entire outing.
At long last we found ourselves walking/jogging down the hill and into a shadier and maybe slightly cooler place as we headed back to our car.
Our little leader had other plans as his eyes traveled past the car and at other possible trails to follow. Outnumbered and lured by the promise of a nice refreshing treat upon our return home, he relented……this time. He would find his adventure next time.
I hope that one day my children will realize how much I love them. I hope they know that I’ve only wanted the very best for them. My parents were imperfect people but there has never been a day in my life when I ever doubted their love. I hope my kids can find it in their hearts to let go of all the damage I might have done while trying to be the best mom I could.
I guess I didn’t think that after parenting for 30 years that I could feel like I did it all wrong. They aren’t bad people. In fact, I think they are pretty awesome. But there are times when I think one or two of them might feel they survived despite my parenting- not as a result of it.
If I try to help, I’m interfering. If I give them space, I’m abandoning them. If I ask too many questions, I’m being nosy and if I wait for them to come to me, I’m ignoring them. And I can’t show emotions….nope, don’t get me started on that one.
I hope this is all just me beating myself up over something that has nothing to do with me.
It’s not easier when they grow up. Especially while experiencing major life events during a pandemic. (And being their parent during this time isn’t a walk in the park either!)
The bottom line is-
I love my kids more than anything in the world.
I will do anything and everything I can do to help them.
I think they are amazing human beings- kind, generous and funny.
My state is lifting all pandemic restrictions and fully opening. A new day is dawning.
And I’m not ready.
Since the countdown began to things returning to normal, I’ve struggled on and off with waves of anxiety at the thought. Although today is the “big day” I’ve already seen the shift . A larger percentage of people have ditched their masks. On social media, I see ‘friends’ celebrating with large gatherings, trips, and no safety measures.
And it’s freaking me out.
I am fully vaccinated. People are being asked to use the honor system. If a person is not vaccinated, he is being asked to do the right thing and wear a mask. Unless the person has a medical reason for not being vaccinated (and would still be wearing a mask if that was the case), I am trying to understand why someone would not get the vaccine – not only for their own safety but the safety of others. Then again, I cannot help jumping to conclusions and assuming that a person who would not wear a mask unvaccinated is probably in that same group of people who did not take the pandemic seriously. I know that I should give people the benefit of the doubt and I’m trying sooooooo hard!
Then there’s the matter of my grandsons, who are too young to be vaccinated. They are still at risk. They have to wear masks. In our family, even if we were so inclined to not wear a mask, if the boys are with us masks are required. Especially with six year old Beej, who will not hesitate to point out that it’s not safe to go without a mask. He has been a rock star throughout the pandemic- spending a good part of the year in the company of adults only and remaining safe in all areas- mask, social distancing and hand-washing- with no complaints. And I will continue to keep him safe until he is no longer at risk.
Things aren’t going to be normal. Each state has different guidelines. Businesses have the right to require masks and exercise safety measures. Although it feels like the world is opening up and everything will be ‘normal’ again, the truth is that even normal will be a new normal and it will take time to adjust to it. The reality is other parts of the world are experiencing surges and lockdowns. New variants of the virus seems to be popping up daily.
It’s too soon to toss the masks and pretend that the last 14 or 15 months never happened. It’s still here. It’s just different.
I won’t be ditching my mask. I will be cautiously dipping my toe into the new normal to test the waters. And as we move forward, regardless of where you might fall on the pandemic spectrum in terms of belief or opinion, I hope you will continue to practice patience and kindness.