As I sit in our dining room while my darling son is logged into his remote first-grade, I hear his teacher introduce the day’s word. It starts with “s,” and she asks the class to identify other words that begin with that sound/letter.
My brain immediately leaps to the word secure.
We live in an incredibly safe place.
We are employed during this horrifying pandemic.
We are healthy and have each other.
But most importantly, I chose “secure” because my children appear to be emotionally secure despite the world’s turmoil going on around them.
Both have handled their schools’ changes beautifully with age-appropriate reactions.
When the world flipped upside down in March, my husband and I knew that our first priority–other than making sure basic needs were covered–was our children’s’ emotional well-being.
I recognize that privilege and am thankful for it.
As a new parent, you learn the acronym H.A.L.T. It stands for hunger, anger, loneliness, and tired—the four things most likely the sources of baby/toddler frustration and tantrums. I clung to these as my children aged through these years like a lifeline.
In the time of COVID-19, I’ve returned to H.A.L.T., but not just for the children. It’s essential to keep it in mind for myself too. Staying at home has strengthened and stressed our familial relationships. While I can’t always calm the anger, soothe the loneliness, or completely dispel the tiredness (because #autonomy) in myself and others, I can mitigate the hunger.
Meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and kitchen cleaning have long been under my wheelhouse in our family. It’s changed over the years and across the seasons, but it continues to be a source of regular satisfaction to me. My process has evolved over the last eight weeks, but the basics are the same.
That said, I still get excited about ordering in occasionally. I can cook many things, but good Thai food isn’t one of them.