I don’t know about your corner of the world, but we’ve started to dip our toes back into the waters of reality lately, and it’s been amazing – and humbling. On Friday, the kids and I took their first trip to a store in over two months. Two months! Ryan was in the field last week, and we needed diapers – urgently – so I packed the kiddos up and headed to Target with strict instructions; wear masks, sit in the cart, listen to Mommy. As I shared on my instagram, it was like Christmas to them. They were so excited to see other people! It actually struck me pretty deeply. We’ve been able to comprehend these changes. What has this shift in reality looked like to them?
In this military way of life, we’re used to change. Stability is actually abnormal for military kids, so they shift in daily life didn’t really shake them at first. That said, I could see the little things wear on them for a while. They missed friends. They wanted to know why their teachers didn’t love them anymore. They were curious as to why they couldn’t come to the store anymore.
Beyond that, however, they simply adapted.
There is so much I could learn from my kids through all of this. They may not have been going to school, but they’ve had lessons in resilience. They may not have been socializing with other kids, but they’ve been refining their manners, learning to deal with individual frustrations, and dealing with a pressure cooker of emotions along with their parents. Yet again, they’ve adapted.
We’ve done our best to ensure they still explore. The kids and I bike ride almost every day. We knocked out some of our favorite family quarantine bucket list goals, baking things together, having family trunk dates at Chic-fil-A, learning individual chores, and more. And, to be honest, all our children have thrived through this – challenges and all.
This past weekend, Spencer decided he really wanted to climb a tree. Like, climb a tree. There’s a little neighborhood hideout in the woods beyond our on-post housing area. The neighborhood kids staked a claim there and set up a little fort, complete with chairs, a table, a two-decker pallet-built clubhouse, a toy kitchen, and more. Porter and Mieke were content to explore. Spencer, however, wanted to do something big because, as he told me, “Mommy, I can do hard things.”
I watched as he calculated the steps bit by bit, assessing where to place his feet and, before I knew it, he was 20 feet in the air, grinning down at me. Truth? He wanted to go higher. I told him to stop because I don’t think I would’ve been able to get him back down. As we prepare to send our firstborn to kindergarten in the fall, send Ryan off on yet another TDY next month, and adjust course again, there’s a lot I could learn from them, and I’m grateful for that humbling lesson.
So, as we embrace another shift in reality in these coming weeks, I’m ready, but I’m staying in the moment. These are days we won’t get back, and I’m thankful for the uninterrupted time we’ve had together.
But now? Now, I’m ready to explore again!
Tell me, have you started seeing a shift in post-quarantine reality yet? Are you ready for it?