My kids and I aren’t sick, but with an extended break from regular school attendance looming in front of us we have been doing a lot of talking about what that means for us.
I’ve always been super cautious when it comes to parenting. I limited my kids exposure to toxins and sugar and chemicals for much of their toddler years (and to some extent now). There are still times now when I wonder who this person is that lets her kids have sugar at parties and celebratory moments.
But if you ask anyone who has suffered trauma and loss they will tell you that you always come out of that loss overly aware of the sanctity of life and how fast it can change. It’s what people do with that knowledge that is different for each person. Some choose to throw caution to the wind and enjoy every moment because God is sovereign and all of our days are numbered; while others live cautiously in fear of making one misstep that will cause the world they have left to come crashing down.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting over the past two weeks. My kids and I had travel planned and bags packed and were heading to spend a couple of days with family at one of the happiest places on earth. 😉
I debated and prayed about whether to go and reviewed medical statements and recommendations regarding travel.
If we had been leaving the country I would have cancelled and stayed home as so many of my friends did. But there were less than a handful of cases of sickness in the entire state where we were heading and none in the city or county we would be visiting. I heard Ben’s voice in the back of my head saying not to live in fear. And so off we went.
It was not an easy decision. Because of the trauma my children have faced, they live with an often unvoiced fear of losing me. They worry that everything the world faces will come down on our house and they are used to keeping those feelings inside. I am acutely aware of this, so I try to make sure that I explain things in the world that they might hear about in ways that they will understand and be able to relate to.
The world seemed to suddenly be blanketed in fear just a few days into our trip. I talked to the kids and we discussed the virus that everyone was afraid of. I explained it in terms they would understand and we discussed our options.
The reality is, I’m not worried about us contracting the virus and not recovering, and Lord willing, I won’t have to eat my words. However, I explained to them the reasons that schools are closing and people are being asked to limit exposure to others. And I explained to them the importance of everyone doing the same thing if we want to be able to go back to school/work anytime soon.
They agreed to head home earlier than we planned. We got excited about the idea of homeschooling again for a couple of weeks and of having pajama days and cooking and doing other things with just us. We talked about how we wouldn’t be spending time with others who are not able to do the same thing. We talked about what it means to protect others.
These are kids who understand sacrifice. They have been making sacrifices their entire lives. They knew that while this would be fun for a little while, it could still be really hard.
I do not regret taking them to Florida for a few days. I’m glad they got a couple days with family like we planned. I’m trying to embrace the promise I made to myself after Ben died that I would not live in fear, but live every moment to the fullest. And I think because we talked about it together as choices were being made, that they learned a valuable lesson in sacrifice and how we each have choices to make in order to help make the world a better place for other people.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
***All of us have a choice in how we handle this with our children and the lessons that they will learn. Whether you agree with the decisions being made or not, you can still use this to teach them the value in making sacrifices for other people.***