Yesterday, I had a refrigerator delivered. (Yes, I bought a refrigerator during a global pandemic. Yes, my appliances have spent the last year turning against me. My husband has been hospitalized multiple times during the last year. Every time he’s in the hospital, something expensive breaks. My washer and dryer, dishwasher, phone, furnace and now refrigerator have all been replaced within the last year and every time these disasters have struck, he has been in the hospital.) Anyway, back to the delivery….when other humans entered my home, I started telling them my life story. Who cares if they are delivery guys? Who cares if they just want to drop off this fridge and get the heck out of the house of a crazy woman? Who cares? At least they were pleasant. They smiled and nodded and connected the ice maker while I chattered on.
It made me realize just how much I have missed people. This virus has stopped our social lives in their tracks. I have Zoomed with friends and family and I’ve had a few driveway dates with my bestie--in chairs spaced far apart-- but I still long for normal connections. My house is the usually the party house. I love having people over. When the stay at home orders were issued, I understood the importance of keeping the circle small and secluding ourselves, especially in light of my husband’s compromised health condition. It seemed like it might have even been a little bit fun---being trapped in our house like a really long snow day. Well, we all know that isn’t how this feels at all.
We are made for community. We need our friends and family. How often have we heard that it takes a village to raise a child? Never has that statement made more sense. I mean, we all know that play dates aren’t just about the kids, right? We choose other likeminded families to have our kids socialize with so the grownups can visit too! When this stay at home order is eased, I hope it makes us even more thankful for those connections we have with other people.
For now, let’s continue to reach out. It might be because WE need the connection to others. It might be because we know that our friends need us like never before. My sister has been zooming with my grandkids to read a bedtime story. Just hearing her voice and seeing her face has been so good for me. A few days ago, I got a real card in the actual mail from my friend’s daughter. Knowing that she was thinking of us and took the time and effort to write a note made my day. Yesterday, another dear friend dropped off a care package that had chocolate, peach tea, and new notepads and scented pencils for the littles. That gesture may have been small to her, but it was HUGE to me. And those driveway chats with my bestie? Just the balm this weary heart needed to make it through another day of new normal.
Draw that sidewalk chalk message on your grandparent’s driveway. Stick a note on your neighbor’s door. Zoom or face time with people you love. Celebrate a birthday with a honking parade. Hide a little gift outside for your friend’s kids and then text them to let them know to look for it. You can probably think of all kinds of ways to connect creatively with your people. And when this is over? I hope we will remember—at least for a while—to fully appreciate the little things that we all know now are the big things.
Hi! I'm Janet and I've been the Director of the Before and After School and Smart Start Preschool Programs at the Troy Rec since 1994. My hubby and I have been married 30 years and we have two grown sons. Each of them is married and blessing us with grandchildren left and right. Life is good even when the nest is empty!