Uncertainty. Will the kids actually go back to school? Once they are back, will they be able to stay in school? What will the flu season look like? Will working from home become our new normal?
These questions and so many more have become a drumbeat in our lives–a constant thump that never really leaves us. We, adults, have all learned to live with it, perhaps normalizing or quieting it with the hectic balance of home-school, work, household, and community obligations. But, for our small people, whose ears are more sensitive than ours, this drumbeat of uncertainty may feel like the whole percussion section.
So, what’s a parent to do? There really is no end in sight right now, and our kids need to silence those cymbals so that they can learn, grow, and thrive. I know for my family, when the pandemic hit, we suddenly had more screen time enter our lives than ever before. I’m pretty sure we’re not alone in that. And now, eight months into this crisis, I’d really like to return to a more normal balance, but my energy is fast becoming depleted.
I don’t know any parent right now who has the bandwidth for a multi-day project recreating the Jurassic period by turning our bedroom into a prehistoric jungle-scape using all recycled and eco-friendly materials. But we can focus on what I like to think of as micro-moments of creativity—small engagements, maybe just once a day, that give us all a moment of connection and joy. Maybe we can sit with our kids for five minutes to glue some colored tissue paper into a lively collage. Maybe we can use breakfast time to make up a story together based on one of our favorite animals. Perhaps we can grab flashlights and have a mini-living room dance party for just one song per evening?
If we shift our focus from overwhelmed to just one micro-moment per day, how will that change our perspective? Our kids will have that moment of connection that grounds them. We will escape from the anxious buzz in our brains by focusing entirely on something different. And, hopefully, we will all fight uncertainty by bringing a tiny bit more laughter and imagination into our daily lives.