Here’s what I know about the times we are living in right now — there’s a lot of experts providing us with analysis that the times we live in are the permanent “new normal” in our lives.
I refuse to believe them.
I’m not naive. I don’t live under a rock. And, I am not a Pollyanna.
I am a realist.
This thing we’re dealing with right now in our lives will be a blip when our children reach the age I am today.
It will be a blip they remember and a time they will recall and share with their children when they reach the age I am today.
How they remember that blip and how we, as adults, behaved and acted towards one another and towards our children, and other people’s children, is what they will remember.
Were we so terrified and frightened and scared that we hunkered down in front of the television or online and spent every waking moment seeing updates of new cases of COVID-19 or did we find the time to nourish our relationships with one another?
Did we allow our anxiety to spillover in how we conduct ourselves with strangers and our own friends and family or did we redirect our fears to pick up a ball and play catch with our Daughter or share funny stories and play games with one another?
Did we cook a meal with our Daughter – play cards with our wife — walk our dog — or make sure that our Son was doing okay with this not so normal time in his life?
Was the moment our children — those of our own and those of others — needed us to assure them that the cancelled school — dance — competition — date with friends — was a temporary set-back in life and did we encourage them to reach out and connect with them in whatever way they are able?
Did we take a moment to just stop. Just stop.
A moment to say “Kids, how are YOU doing? ”
And when you asked that you listened closely — making eye contact — and reminding them of this important truth: “It’s Going To Be Okay!”
It IS going to be okay. It’s going to be scary for awhile. It’s going to bring out the best and the worst of who we are as human beings.
But, it IS going to be okay.
I am not an expert at anything. I am not an analysts that is paid to provide content to a website or to be provocative or to “think outside the box” as to how this current moment in our history will redefine who we are as people.
I’m just a Dad with two kids who understands that my principle function right now is to be the kind of Dad they recall when they are my age was honest with them and was the strength and courage and conviction they needed to know that “It IS going to be okay.”
I’ve chosen to stop watching the news or to receive updates online or read the newspaper.
Trust me, I don’t live in a closet — I am still getting plenty of updates from people in my life.
I am doing responsible things. Washing my hands. Not touching my face. Getting outside to get some air. Distancing. Trying to make sure that my kids are doing the same.
I don’t need anymore updates from friends on their social media pages so when I see them I snooze them. I don’t need texts from friends who “heard” something or people I know who claim they have “inside information” from somebody about something big coming down.
I need updates from my kids, my family and my friends that they are doing well — or if they need to talk that we can talk — or if they need food, or medicine or something else-THOSE are the updates I need.
Our government, health, science and medical leaders don’t need the world of all of us making their job harder by deliberately making our lives more difficult.
They need us to take care of ourselves right now so they can focus on how to take care of all of us as soon as they possibly can.
Tell your kids and somebody else’s kids that “It WILL be okay!”
Tell them that because they need to hear it.
Tell them that because you need to say it.
Tell them that because it’s true.