We’ll Get Through This

It’s a pandemic, let’s try to slow down.

Things are going to be a little crazy for a while, and no one really knows how long. Everyone has ideas, and dates, and demands. There’s hope from the business community, and educated guesses from the scientific side. But let’s be really honest with each other and ourselves, NO ONE knows when this latest viral pandemic will be fully contained to the point where we can put our lives back together.

By the way, things won’t be back to “normal”, sorry… Not how they were, anyway. We’re going to emerge into a different world that will slowly adjust to its new reality. Hugs and physical contact will be different, maybe only at first, or maybe for a while. Crowds and events will be different, feel different. Maybe you’re not high-fiving strangers at the game anymore. Maybe you wash your hands more frequently, especially after going out in public. It’s not all bad! Maybe you FaceTime your mom more often. Maybe you pay more attention to healthcare politics, and we all decide what works best going forward. Maybe we won’t be so obsessed with 401Ks and mortgages and maximizing profits, but care for the collective health of our society. Maybe. Maybe not. The point is that there’s a lot of uncertainty and even more around the corner.

Once we get used to it, things will start to feel normal again. Ten, twenty years, maybe a generation. But we’ll forget and loosen up. There’s a high probability we’ll be the grandparents that always keep too much toilet paper at the house. But “this too shall pass.”

For now, just take it easy. I know, that’s condescending. Don’t you hate it? When you’re freaking out and someone tells you to “take it easy”? Ugh, I hate that!

Remember that everyone’s lives have been uprooted and forever changed. There are folks that are better off, and there are folks that are worse off than you. There are people who have lost friends and family members already to COVID-19 complications, there are those fighting – in critical conditions – still at the hospital. There are those who don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. And there are those that have watched their investments or retirement funds drop. There’s also folks that just ran out of toilet paper, and maybe that’s not as serious, but definitely annoying!

And then there’s our kids. Let’s not forget that their lives have changed too, their world is different as much as our “adult” one. We tend to get so wound up in our issues and problems that we forget they’re facing the same uncertainties and with much less perspective. In times like these they will look to us to be their rock, let’s not fail them.

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Am I super grateful to be safe at home? Yes. Am I also tired of the looking at the same view every.single.day with no end in sight? Also yes. . So over the weekend we moved a couch in the living room, and what a difference it made in switching things up and infusing some new energy into the same old space! ☀️ . It’s a different route for Big Sister to jump from couch to couch, more space for “picnics”, new homes for forgotten toys, and a better view from the kitchen while I’m cooking. . The best part? It cost $0 and is easily reversible when we need to go back to having a functional “adult” living room instead of a “keep the kids happy and out of dad’s office” space. ? . How are you making the most of your same old space during this time?? Share any ideas- maybe it will help another family as we all do our best to #stayhome and #flattenthecurve .

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Homeschooling is tough. Hopefully we all emerge valuing our teachers so much more, and agree that they deserve all the money. Those of us that are lucky enough to have kids in schools that were prepared to transfer the coursework digitally, amazing! Enjoy that. But for many more of us, our kids are at home and bored and not learning. Education is important, sure. And the college scandal showed us the length some parents will go to, to get their kid the best. But everyone’s mental health, during a crisis, is SO MUCH MORE valuable. Just take it easy on yourself and them, it’s not “Harvard or bust” if your kids do a little less work for the next couple of months.

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Well, we managed to do this thing! In between rain storms. Despite the wind today. Without two embarrassed teenaged girls who bailed on us. ? This is our wild attempt at "Washington Crossing the Delaware" for the @tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge. God bless the Dutch for coming up with such a brilliant way to eat up some quaran-time! Swipe to see the untouched photo and the time-lapse of my 11yo and me setting up the boat on the river with toilet paper "ice" while the stiff breeze fought our efforts. I couldn't manage a time-lapse while posing everyone, because I had to refer to the original painting on my phone to get people sorted. ? And then we had to attempt to look serious and patriotic while waiting for the camera timer to go off. Humor us. It was a circus. ? #quarantine #paintingchallenge #tussenkunstenquarantaine #toiletpaper #usedprops #mycrazyfamily #thisquarantinelife

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Would you want your kids to remember the fun things you did together during this time, or how you fought over math? Do you want them to memorize the alphabet, or have memories of the giant pillow fort you’ve built? Don’t put unnecessary and unrealistic pressure on yourself and your kids. Instead focus on creating a fun and safe environment for however long this whole thing lasts. Talk to them. Have sit down dinners. Learn more things about their personalities and have them learn more about you. Use this time to connect because before you know it you’ll be back at work, your kids will be back in school. Piano lessons, soccer practice, birthdays and social calendars will all return and you’ll never get this time back. So use it wisely.

Take it easy. Try, if you have to. And wash your hands – don’t take it easy in that regard.

Dennis Chapham

Dennis Chapham

First time father, husband, and human.

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