- What a year, am I right?
This year is one of the years that will go down in infamy. We will tell stories to our children’s children. We will always appreciate the availability of toilet paper. We will remember purchasing specially-designed masks and praying for those affected by a novel virus. This year will forever remind us of all we truly have to be thankful for. Because this year has taught us exactly what we have on the line and what we can lose.
Truthfully, I vacillate between wishing “normal” would return and being eternally grateful that things have not gotten worse. And I usually land there. In a state of thankfulness. Thankfulness keeps my heart and mind in check. It keeps me motivated to parent well. It keeps me content. Because truly I have so much to be grateful for.
The world is loud right now—with information and fears and updates—I am guessing your home is too, sometimes with children’s laughter, sometimes with tears (yours included.) But in between the rush of noise, maybe you can join me in taking a good, hard look at what we have to be thankful for this year, even in the midst of a pandemic.
We Had Toilet Paper When My Son Potty Trained
Oh yes. As soon as I knew we would be hunkering down for a while, I decided to potty train my two-year-old. It was the perfect timing and thank goodness, we never ran out of toilet paper!
Our Local ‘Buy Nothing’ Group Allowed Us to Both Give and Receive
Ya’ll, community comes out in a pandemic. Neighbors rally. No one is left to fend for themselves. Case in point: my local Buy Nothing group (if you are not in one, get to it!). Our group posted daily asks and gives and time and time again, needs were met by friendly strangers willing to offer a curbside or porch pick-up. The kindness and generosity constantly astounds me.
My Children Were Forced to Get Along
My kids have always got along decently, but being together non-stop was a true test of their friendships. They fought more than ever during our days and weeks at home, but in the end, learned how to better resolve conflict and turn their “enemies” into friends once more.
We Became Amateur Epidemiologists
I mean, didn’t we all? In all seriousness though, talk about a homeschool science lesson! As more information about the virus became available, my husband and I were able to use the current pandemic as a way to educate our kids on the importance of handwashing, how viruses spread, how to support our immune systems, how the healthcare system works, how vaccines are created, and so much more. They were all topics we had briefly talked about before, but there is nothing like a hands-on, in your face worldwide event to bring all of that to life.
I Remembered That I Liked My Husband?
For a decade now, my husband and I have spent the week days apart. You know, he goes to work at the office while I stay home. For us, distance makes the heart grow fonder. And then he started working from home … for months. I think we were both a bit nervous about the upset to our regular schedule, but, turns out, we still love each other. We still like each other! So much so, we even made a pandemic baby!
My Calendar Saw Some Calm
Do you ever feel like you go-go-go between all your family’s commitments? 2020 allowed us to stop. Fully. And after the sense of “OMG, what is happening right now?” in some aspects, our family was able to breathe a sigh of relief and were able to enjoy the calm of our empty calendar. (And I fully understand that’s a privilege not all families were able to see, so I’m even more thankful for it.)
Friends Reconnected in New Ways
In June our family announced that we were expecting another baby. Normally, it seems like my pregnancies are ignored until a sweet lil’ bump appears but this time, friends were purposefully more intentional about checking in. When you don’t naturally run into one another at gatherings and events, you have to find other ways to nurture relationships. I was so thankful for phone calls, texts, and even a first trimester meal drop-off!
There’s no doubt about it, this has been an emotional year for us all and it’s not over just yet. But I hope that wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving and holiday season, that you can find a way to look for something in your own life to be thankful for.
Even if it’s just that last roll of toilet paper on the shelf.