Remaining hopeful and mindful during tough times
As we watch the news, it seems that summer is not bringing what we thought was promised in late winter - the end of the pandemic. Cases are going up across the nation, instead of down. Summer, typically a carefree time, is instead strained by canceled vacations, worries the next school year, financial struggles, lost jobs and concerns about keeping well. The anxiety that was stoked months ago has proven to have some undying embers.
In my discussions with families at their checkups, the typical topics of eating, sleeping, development always come up, but now we inevitably meander into how hard things have been. At first many parents tell me things are okay, but then later a forlorn look or haggard eyes prompts me to dig deeper and the truths about lost jobs, backlogged unemployment checks and stressful relationships, come out.
I offer resources and encouragement and hope that it is meaningful to them, but truly it’s their resilience and resourcefulness that continues to inspire me. Despite the uncertainty, parents have stepped up and shown up for their children. They have learned to manage households, online schooling platforms, and work meetings simultaneously. They have dusted off their sneakers and bikes and led their children to the wonder of nature. They have made baked bread from scratch and done yoga videos together. They have sat inside on rainy days and made their homes into jungle gyms. Moms have given birth to babies without the comfort of having their own moms around. The list goes on and on.
So, while our minds are unconsciously turning to the gut wrenching questions of the upcoming future—will the kids be safe at school? what will happen as cases spread? What is the likelihood that a vaccine will be available soon—I am encouraged by the tenacity of the human spirit that I see around me. It has already proven to wriggle its fierce and gentle self into adversity we are all facing and helping us continue to move forward. I encourage you all to take a moment, give yourself the grace you deserve, be mindful, and always hopeful.
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