I remember the day before the second quarantine started. It was Sunday and my 8-year-old daughter kept on repeating "#nightmare, #nightmare" – apparently she had heard it in a girl series on TV. She had no clue what “#” meant but she knew pretty well the word “nightmare.” That’s how she felt when we told her she would have to attend online classes again as schools were closed.
A week later she commented: "Anyway mom online schooling has its good part too." "What do you mean?" I asked full of surprise. "At school, we have to show hands when the teacher asks a question and this can be tiring at times. Now if I want to show my hand I just need to press a button.” Great progress, I thought to myself. "I'm so happy you can see there are positives as well," I told her. It was not long before her second positive comment: "You know something, mom? Now you do not need to apply lice spray to my hair before I go to school. I was freezing when you’d spray me in the morning." Then another day she added: "Dad works from home now so we see more of him. Of course, I'm not saying that I like being in this quarantine, not at all, but at least there are some positives."
When you hear your daughter talk like this you realize how much we have that we do not actually see or do not give them the attention they deserve. But also how much more there is to discover. An otherwise "ordinary" walk in the neighborhood park that brings unexpected meetings with friends that you haven’t seen for a long time. An impromptu last-minute picnic just because the day was sunny. One more hug because you took a quick break from online. Ten more valuable minutes to sleep in the morning as you don’t have to drive to work. Less traffic, less honking, less "come on, get ready, let’s go…".
In this second quarantine, both my family and I are all consciously much more flexible. This doesn’t mean we are not worried about COVID-19 and our safety. We are very cautious and take all necessary measures. But what I notice is that we’re calmer and it is easier for us to take things as they come. I admit I took my lesson but I also admit I do not forget to repeat it every day!
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