Last week Molly seemed a bit down. Her mother asked her if she felt okay, concerned she might be getting sick, a cold, or such. “Molly, do you feel okay?” she inquired, putting her hand on her forehead. She felt okay, but she looked so sad. Her mother knew something was wrong.
“What is it, honey?”
She looked as if she was afraid to tell her, but then it came out softly, tears ready to escape. “Is it always going to be like this?”
It was the end of April; still no school or getting together with friends she missed. Being an only child, I suppose it was more difficult, despite her parents doing so much with her, trying to make life better.
“Oh, no, honey,” her mother said, while she herself wondered how long this staying at home would last. Even she was struggling a bit.
To Molly it was an adventure at first, having fun at home, playing games going outside in the backyard, doing Zoom with other family so she could see them. Every week she’d walk with her father down to her mother’s grandparents’ house, just to look and wave at her Grammy-Great in the glassed doorway.
Of course children are wondering: Is it always going to be like this?
Molly finally allowed the tears to fall. She had kept so much inside her, trying not to think too much about her fears. Did she believe her mother’s words? Her mother held her, comforting Molly the best she could.
I thought of a quote from Zechariah 8:5: “The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” It was about ancient Jerusalem being restored. What about our cities and states and countries all around the world? When will they be restored to normal? And what is normal?
If this is something that we have to go through, what do we learn from it? What could be the reason for it? Is it for us to slow down? For the earth itself to find quietness from all the human interactions? For the animals to feel safe? I saw on the Internet how you can actually see a jellyfish, as transparent as it is, swimming in the canals of Venice; the water is that clear now. I heard of smog lifting because few cars are out and about. I read how crime was down and of good things people have been doing for one another. They’re reaching out, helping who they can. Are we and our world being restored?
I hope that is so. I hope when it is over – and I believe it will be – we are better people because of what we all went through. And I hope Molly will be glad and realize she was a part of history that she will tell her children and grandchildren about. Be aware of how your children seem. Talk to them about this, sharing age appropriate information. Acknowledge their fears, reassuring them.
Alone it can be fearful, but together we can be brave and carry on, as people have done all through history. Even though physically apart, we must be together in spirit, each and every day; especially with the children.
Cindy McNabe writes from New York.
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