Being locked down can be frustrating and monotonous. It’s hard to be separated from friends and from the neighborhood restaurants and shops that are the lifeblood of your community. However, through this all, I’ve found certain basic things that I’m reconnecting with, and I consider these the silver lining of this moment.
Before the arrival of this global pandemic and the safety measures that have accompanied it, my children were always so busy with extracurriculars that we rarely sat down together to enjoy a meal. However, since quarantine began, we’ve returned to the simple yet important ritual of eating dinner as a family. This is something that I hope we continue to do even past quarantine. Even if our busy schedules do not allow us to do it daily, a few times a week would be an awesome routine to establish.
We have also continued ordering takeout to support local businesses. While this used to be a run-of-the-mill occurrence, it now feels like a special treat. We all deliberate on where we are getting food, and my kids are so excited to eat their favorite meals. We have family discussions about why supporting local restaurants is important, and I believe this prompts my kids to think about how their decisions work in a cohesive network with the lives of others. While it may seem incredibly normal, quarantine makes something as simple as ordering takeout both a special treat and an important way for my children to learn about consumer impact.
Another simple yet important thing we have reintegrated into our household is a collective focus on making sure it is a clean and productive space. Each of my children, regardless of their age, is contributing to make sure the space is conducive to virtual schooling and functioning as a home office. By taking responsibility for their simple yet crucial every-day chores like cleaning the kitchen or doing yard work, they are learning how their decisions and actions impact others, and how positively contributing to your community is essential.
While many things are difficult right now, I am grateful that I have this time with my family. It has reminded me that sometimes returning to the basics is the best lesson in being mindful. While myself and my children are disconnected physically from the outside world, we have reconnected in ways that I could not have predicted, even if that means more dishes.