Friday, April 3, 2020

What's in a name?

I have to admit, my heart breaks a little to see pictures of things the kids cannot do right now. There are plenty of smiles in our house and, as usual, children seem to take anything in stride (as long as we do). We are taking advantage of the time at home and enjoying the extra quality time, but the strangeness of the situation is hard to come to terms with. We are glad to have plenty to do in and around the house and the school work is a welcome diversion before lunch, but every time we step outside I feel like we're just enjoying some "yard time" in the "big house."

These sacrifices are small given the reward of saving lives, but I long for the day when kids can again run around a playground with friends or perfect strangers. I miss watching them dart around the park not knowing, caring or even asking for names. What's in a name anyway? Who needs one when you know each other through twinkling eyes and laughter in the sunshine?

I miss the smiles between children at the park as they push and test boundaries of "fair play" and see which of their tricks can make the others laugh. I look forward to the time when telling the kids to keep their hands away from their mouth and face is just a form of correcting manners and civility again rather than a massively important lesson in safety.

Please don't mistake my nostalgia for despair, we have so much to be grateful for and hope and happiness rule the day. I am thankful for our pets, they keep the place lively. For our screened in porch and pool to pass the days, for the size of our clan (four kids get on each other's nerves sometimes, but it's great to have siblings in shared isolation). I'm thankful for a job that allows me to work at home and gives me the time to check on others. I'm grateful for my wife's ability to support the local hospitals remotely.

My heart goes out to those with more imminent financial concerns and those suffering from illness or dealing with loved ones who are. I try to remember those sheltering alone and to know for some that is very hard (so check on them). I hope everyone is appreciative of what we do have and that we look for the bright side of every day and every moment. It is always there. There can be no light without darkness. Take care of yourselves and, if you're able, someone else too. Whether we know the names or not, we're all just playground brothers and sisters with a twinkle in our eyes and a longing for brighter days to return.

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