So today is the first day of social distancing for my family. The boys are home from school for a minimum of three weeks. School doesn’t restart in an online capacity until Wednesday.
Honestly when we were notified that school was going to close, I was a bit overwhelmed with the concept of me being around them 24/7. After a good nights sleep, I am still overwhelmed but can see a bit of an opportunity today.
My children are forced to have to deal with me, by a virtue of a state mandate. They can not blame me for the fact they are bored, or can’t see their friends, for them it kind of feels like a punishment, but one not given by me. For that I am ecstatic.
So we devised a plan to keep us all sane. Mornings are devoted to online school work. If they don’t have any great, then stare at your brother, clean your room, address your person hygiene, but there will be no tv’s, phones, or video games before 12:30, so don’t even ask.
I am going to use the fact they are home to get some larger projects done that otherwise I would have had to tackle alone. I already made the list so they can choose what they feel like doing that day, oh but you are going to do something physical.
Do you want to overturn the soil in the chicken run? Or are you feeling it is a clean out the garage day? Hey, maybe you just want to go for excruciatingly hard, but quickly completed task , by moving the old appliances into the basement? Hey its your party, pick the game.
You want to jello wrestle your brother, roll around in the mud outside, have at it boys. Or maybe you want to help with some yard-work, or do your laundry. The list will continue everyday until they are back in school, hard work never killed anyone, the time has come for them to work 1/4 of what we did in our youth, and it just might feel like they are dying, but they won’t.
And after you finish the task you picked for the day, the rest of the day is yours; do what you want. If that means xbox, phones, computers have at it.
We learned last night that with all the kids home the xbox live system almost came to a grinding halt, not going to lie, there was some humor in that for me as my son came stamping up the stairs.
The power I hold for the next two-three weeks lays in the palm of my hand. It is called the Xfinity app-which can suspend the wifi on every house device with the touch of a finger. Listen boys, don’t make me take out my phone!!!
I know one thing, this will give me the opportunity to be around my sons more, and hopefully not annoy them, but grow with them. It will also share the depth of what I do on a daily basis with them. Mom does not sit around all day watching TV, I actually do lots of stuff, that you now are going to become intimately aware of.
I prefer to see good in even the worst of situations. And right now I am watching my teens whip a ball at each other from across the living room, laughing and joking and having a good time, not sure if its soccer, rugby, or some mutated game they made up, no matter what it is they have just unwrapped a gift simplicity, calm, and connection.
I could be yelling at them for playing ball in the house, (shout out to Carol Brady), but all that comes to mind right now is a smile that my boys are healthy, and I have this opportunity to work on connection.
Check back tomorrow, as this optimism may only last a day. Hey, but I am trying.