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Posts Tagged ‘parents’

From trying to maintain holiday traditions like Christmas-tree cutting to getting kids to wear masks and maintain social distance in school, it was a year to remember (or forget).

Normally, this is a week when people take stock of their year, maybe make New Year’s Resolutions. But how to summarize 2020? What to resolve for 2021 other than to stay alive and donate more to people in need?

Kara Baskin at the Boston Globe, having taken on writing a pandemic newsletter for parents, decided to ask them what they have learned from this strange time.

“This year has been piercingly difficult for most of us in ways ranging from soul-shatteringly epic to mundanely depleting,” she writes. … “As parents, we’ve cared for kids in close quarters — and our own parents, often from afar. We’ve tried to work while serving as supplemental tutors, counselors, and IT gurus. We have sworn at Google Classroom. We have cursed Zoom. We have vowed to never, ever take teachers for granted again. … The daily rhythms of life faded and morphed. Our circles often became smaller; our waistlines sometimes got bigger.

“But there were glimmers of happiness, too: more time for stuff that really mattered. Perspective. Gratitude. Reframed expectations. Hope? …

“I’ve learned that true colors come to light in the darkness. I’ve watched as my community and friends have stood up for causes they believed in, donated to businesses they felt compelled to support, and rallied around the sick and hurting. I’ve also realized that some connections fray without sustenance. … Most of all, I hope this year has allowed us to be vulnerable. … To realize that there is no shame: in being hungry, in being sick, in feeling inadequate or lost. …

“How about you? What has this year taught?

“ ‘That I don’t give myself enough credit after surviving COVID-19 for almost three months with three children as a single mom.’– April Golden-Shea

“ ‘I’ve learned that I need to be able to ebb and flow with how my kids are feeling. That might mean cutting them some slack one day and keeping them on task on another day. My parenting style has never been one-size-fits-all with my kids, but this pandemic has only crystallized how important it is for me to see them as individuals.’ – Eric Berman

‘That volunteering has saved me in every conceivable way.’ – Julie Lucey

“ ‘I have learned that I crumble without external structures.’ – Susan Anderson Garcia

“ ‘I appreciate that I’m not constantly comparing myself to others (and feeling like I come up short), because there’s not the constant level of activity or achievements which are usually happening. I hope I can continue this practice of not comparing, as it gives me more peace.’ – Roslyn Fitzgerald

“ ‘I will never take seeing a full, smiling face for granted again. The eyes can show a lot of emotion, but so much is hidden behind masks.’ – Alysia Tardelli Rourke

“ ‘My lesson learned (or emphasized?) from this year is that you can’t compartmentalize yourself. Being a parent and being a worker are intertwined. … In a former pre-COVID life, I would feel embarrassed (as though I were failing at work) when I had to leave early to pick up a sick kid or take a phone call from my child’s teacher. Now, it’s clearer to me that expecting work and family to stay separate is not only unrealistic but unhealthy.’ – Mallory Rohrig

“ ‘One lesson that is often internally known is that our kids come before ourselves. However, this year I feel like we’ve really had to live up to that. I’ve had to put my own college grades and aspirations aside in order to help my kindergartener through her homework and starting school during the strangest time of our lives.’ – Karlie McDaniel Le

“ ‘I’ve learned the importance of neighborhood and how it almost seemed irrelevant until a crisis. Our son’s second birthday was a Facebook Live production. And instead of having a handful of people over, we had 100!’ … – Michele Aron.”

So many awesome comments: hard to choose! Read others at the Globe, here.

Photo: Cherry Lane School
Suzanne says if she’s learned one thing this year it’s that “school is essential.”

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When I worked with Denise at a certain hyped management magazine, I always knew she had better things in her than the tasks she was given there.

Moreover, she was the most sensible 25-year-old I had ever met. After moving on to better jobs, including writing for teens at Scholastic, she turned to the hardest and most important work in the world. And on the whole, it seems to suit her.

But nothing can stop the itch to write. Here she shares the joy and frustration of reading repetitive stories to book-hungry kids:

“Nothing brings me more joy than knowing how much my 5-year-old son, Isaiah, looks forward to sitting in our rocking chair while I read him books at bedtime. And my heart swells with love whenever my 2-year-old twins, Joel and Nina, bring me books and say, ‘Read book, please.’

“But, holy moly, I’ve run into a very serious problem. While Isaiah can enjoy a variety of different stories, the twins are all about sameness. Even though I rotate their books constantly so we’re not reading the same ones every week, the repetitiveness of reading these books is driving me crazy.

“I’m sure many parents are familiar with the rhythm and rhyme scheme of many children’s board books, ‘Bend and reach, touch your toes. Now stand up straight and touch your nose!’ Lately, I’ve been adding a few colorful rhymes in my head as I read these books to the twins. ‘Clap your hands, then point to your shoes, reading this book is driving me to booze!’ ” Read more.

(I admit I felt the same way about Richard Scarry. The pictures were darling, but the words, not so, even if I did let “five-seater pencil car” become part of my vocabulary.)

For a mom with twins, it is must be twice as much “bend, reach, touch your toes,” but for sure these kids will grow up to be readers.

This is Denise with one of her three book mavens.

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