“For the times, they are a-changing.”
Those were the words Bob Dylan sang in a song that’s now considered a classic. I always enjoyed the catchy tune. Maybe I blared it a little too loud inside the shelter of my Chevy as a teenager.
I would have never realized that I would hear that same tune today as an adult in 2020 and nod my head in agreement.
Yes, folks...the times are changing.
Not to get into the whole political undertones of the song, but that simple line pretty much wraps up what our community...our world...has been dealing with as the COVID-19 battles rage on all around the world.
I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life that I choose to keep my children at home for the fear that they could be exposed to an illness. This is the first time I have switched spots, balancing different times of the day, with my husband Jason at work so that someone can be home with our three kids. This is an incredibly hectic time as I balance preparing supper while working from my laptop at our kitchen table because, like many professions, the newspaper business doesn’t stop. We merely pick up during times of turmoil and uncertainty.
In the past several days, I have remained a reporter. But I have added teacher, nurse, negotiator, seamstress, etc. to my growing list of duties. Granted all mothers, and any members of any family, add a certain amount of extra duties to your load as we go through this thing called life. But it has been “a-changin’” kind of world lately.
I feel that this is a time to be completely honest with my readers...I haven’t figured it out. I have no idea what I am doing. I am totally winging it. And a few times, I have found myself inside my pantry alone, shedding a few tears just to wipe my face and tell myself “to get it together.”
It’s been two weeks. My grandparents dealt with World War II and the Great Depression. My parents had the Vietnam War. Yes, I can remember exactly where I was when Sept. 11 happened.
I can tell myself to quit worrying, stop getting so stressed. This is a cakewalk compared to what other generations before you did.
But this recent pandemic is a different animal. I am not hysterical, but I am concerned. And this situation that we are in is my children’s “situation.”
They stay at home while their parents take shifts to work. They don’t understand why there is no bread or milk at the store. They miss their teachers because, let’s face it: Momma is not the best teacher sometimes. They miss playdates with their friends. They miss seeing their grandparents and now have to settle for seeing them on Facetime. They miss church, but at least we are holding classes and services through a variety of streaming services. It was a strangle experience viewing Sunday morning services from our phone in our living room, but it was also encouraging.
But there are a number of things that have been missed before this pandemic. And thanks to it...they are coming back.
My kids are having three, full home-cooked meals every day. They are enjoying those meals surrounded by their family. They are able to show off what they do know with their schoolwork, and they are comfortable enough to ask about things they don’t understand.
They are using their imaginations. They cherish those moments with their grandparents over Facetime, and they laugh and express love more than before. They get outdoors with their parents. They listen to birds, look at flowers and shout with happiness into the blue sky because they are able to get out of the house and enjoy being outside with nature.
They see their parents with a Bible because they are praying for comfort, peace and hope. They are gathering around a television show, a board game or a book with their whole family because all we have is each other.
And then I think about the kids who maybe don’t have that, and that makes me worry even more. Include those kids in your prayers.
Yes, we are all adapting. Yes, we are all adjusting. And, yes, we are doing what we can in a different time.
But let’s not forget those other things that have we started to do. Slow down, eat, pray more, look, live, spend time with each other, build on our faith.
The times are changing.