Maybe it was the third morning of gloominess. Maybe it was a poor night of sleep. But yesterday morning was filled with bickering, whining, and frustration between the girls. Surely, I was as pleasant as ever.
When the sun finally poked its head out after noon, I ordered us all outside for a walk. When the bickering continued I finally stopped and asked what the heck was going on.
And that’s when Hailey came over, buried her face in my side, and started crying, shoulders shaking and all. And my heart broke into a million pieces.
Sometimes I forget this is hard on them, too.
Yes we homeschool regularly, but this isolation is not typical of homeschool. We are usually out and about everyday, seeing all kinds of people and friends. While I’m sure her sister’s agitation was the trigger at this particular moment, I have no doubt there is some pent up confusion and frustration at the current state of things, despite my best effort at explanation.
I held my first baby and kissed the top of her head, which I don’t even really need to bend over to do anymore, as she is getting so tall. I told her that it was OK if this felt hard; that it was new and hard for all of us.
Then I explained to her that by all of us doing our part, we are helping. I pointed out the beauty in seeing people all working together. I told her how she personally was pitching in by sending donations and mailing drawings and cards.
The sunshine and I worked together to dry her tears and five minutes later she was back to hunting for worms on the sidewalk that she could save by moving to the grass. The moment had passed.
But that moment reminded me that despite how I try some days, it’s just not business as usual right now. It means some days we all need to remember to be kinder and more gentle with ourselves, whether we are 8 or 68.
And so we made an early spaghetti dinner, got in pajamas, and all four of us watched Star Wars episode five, with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and a cherry on top to boot.
My hope is that she went to bed with a smile on her face remembering that while not every day is good, there is some good in every day.