As I sit to write this column, I’m overwhelmed. My mind is filled with too many thoughts to focus on just one.
On the lighter side, I’m thinking about how many shows I binged on Netflix this past year, starting with “Tiger King,” ending with “Bridgerton” (so far) and everything in between, which included all three seasons of “Cobra Kai,” the revived “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Ozark,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” all seasons of “The Crown,” “Love on the Spectrum,” “Haunting of Bly Manor” and so many more that I’m embarrassed to name them all. I blame being sleepless in corona.
I am also thinking about school and how remote learning is affecting my children.
It. Is. Rough.
My straight A kids are struggling and they hate it and they want to be in their classrooms — even if their classrooms this year are in the library and auditorium so they can be six feet apart. But they are healthy and for that, I am grateful and appreciative of the caution shown by school administrators.
I’m thinking about how I made healthy tacos with veggies in lettuce wraps for lunch, then made fudge. I’m thinking about my mother who is in a nursing home and survived COVID and pneumonia simultanelously. I’m thinking about not being able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with my family. I’m thinking about laundry.
Of course, the events that took place at our nation’s capitol weigh heavy on my mind. I watched the siege live on television with my 12-year-old son. I was watching it when he walked into the room and he looked at me and said “What the heck is going on?” He, too, was stunned. We watched together and he asked a few questions about why these people were doing this. I tried my best to muster an intelligent response, but I had none. The best I could do was to say they were angry and frustrated. Sadly, I said those same words to my children several times this year while watching the news.
As he watched, his comments included “This is painful to watch,” “This country is filled with hypocrites,” “Those people will end up with COVID,” and the most poignant – “This is disgraceful.”
My 12-year-old gets it, but so many adults do not. I don’t often wax political, and I don’t feel like I am now because I don’t care what political affiliation you have, just be respectful. And this wasn’t about Republicans versus Democrats, not really. It was about extremists.
I am sad about 2020 all around. From the many violent protests in the spring, to COVID, to the loss of jobs and grim economic outcomes, to this. I am sad and wish I had better answers for my son, who is not only a deep thinker, but also feels things deeply.
The best we can do as parents right now, in my opinion, is to be honest with our children on a level they can understand, sympathize with their own struggles, find something positive in every day and give lots of hugs. The more I think about it, these are good ways to interact with all people – minus the hugs, of course.