A few weeks ago we met (online) with a counselor we have utilized for the past few years, off and on. One of our kids was having a particularly rough time and an outside set of eyes and ears seemed helpful.
it’s hard to take a picture where he’s not a shapeless blob. contrast and stillness helps.
She suggested (among other things) an exercise with our kids. Three buckets- What We Lost, What We Have, What We Gained. We did that together as a family that weekend.
Here’s a sampling:
What We Lost– trips, time with other people, hugging my friends, school, teachers, feeling okay about everybody’s health, seeing cousins
What We Have- each other, soccer goals, a swing outside, basketball hoop, mom’s phone (for texting friends), ice cream, hospitals, books, food
What We Gained- more time outdoors, chrome books (*), more time with the puppy, google hangouts, more baking, more time with each other
*Last week I told my boys that I would happily put the school-issued chrome books under the tire of my van and run over them. So it really depends on who you ask, as to whether these are a gain or a loss. TBD.
something i lost: cute preschool crafts, that i will probably never do with my kids at home
One thing that has felt really sad lately is that I won’t get to take my youngest to preschool anymore. That’s Something I Lost. On school mornings, we would get the boys off to Venable- either walking them there or letting them walk themselves. Then a little pause before hustling my oldest to Walker, then driving straight on to the church/my work/my youngest’s preschool after that. (It’s a one-stop shop.)
On my workdays, I would bring her to my office and let her watch a video on my phone or color while I pulled out files and got ready for my day. She would turn the lights on and the sound machine outside of my door. She liked to say hi to Jason, who was usually already in his office when we got there. Once he gave her some rocks, which she still has in a rock collection in her room. He started her rock collection. Sometimes we would go by Lane’s office to slide a picture under her door.
To get to the preschool we walked through the church sanctuary. It was usually dark and she liked to sing or say “hecko” loudly when she walked through.
Downstairs there were double doors and we were often the first or second family through there. Say hello to Miss Keri, say hello to Miss Laurie… Extra excitement for Lunch Bunch and special time with Miss Laurie after school, so I could work a few more hours. She was always happy to go to school. She loved her class, loved her teachers, and loved her buddies.
Three out of the four kids won’t return to their schools next year- they’ll move up to the next school. No more walks with both boys to Venable. And no more driving my daughter to Walker. No more walking my daughter from my office, down to her preschool.
There’s a lot to be said for counting your blessings and being grateful and so on and so forth. But there’s also something so important about naming what is gone. Don’t leapfrog that to just land on the silver lining. Go ahead and name it all.
We did that exercise when the coronavirus was still newish. We were social distancing, but had not bought face masks yet. Schools were closed for the year, but I had not considered that they wouldn’t open again in the fall. Google hangouts were still new and exciting. Zoom was still cool, how it highlights the person talking. Do I want the grid view or just the speaker view?
phase two: when UVA started coming on strong about social distancing
Safe to say the thrill has worn off many of these things now. I feel the shock of seeing other people at the grocery store in masks, and I feel the shock when I see someone without one. I hope we can safely see people in person again soon, but know we probably won’t without a cost.
What are your losses, haves, and gains? I’d love to hear.