Five years ago, my family experienced a sudden, life-altering event. I was not afforded much time to process the trauma I was experiencing. I had to keep going and show up where I was needed. It was hard work to adapt to my rapidly changing circumstances, but I had no choice. My family was counting on me.
When I look back on that time and how I got through the most tempestuous days, one thing stands out. Every morning and night I curled up into a fetal position and I wept without restraint for about thirty minutes.
I needed to remember what it was like to be a little child. I craved a gentle voice telling me that everything was going to be okay.
The arrival and prolonged company of the Covid-19 pandemic is very different from the circumstances I was in five years ago. Nonetheless, there are some parallels I cannot ignore. And I’m wondering if you can relate?
Do you feel like you have to keep going and aren’t afforded the luxury of processing what’s happening? Are you needing to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances? Do you have to keep going because your family is counting on you?
Lessons from Mr. Rogers
Mr. Rogers is one of my heroes. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get to know this extraordinary soul a little better… you can watch Won’t You Be My Neighbor, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, or read You Are Special: Neighborly Word of Wisdom From Mister Rogers.
While I’m not here to offer another heartfelt tribute to Fred McFeely Rogers, I am here to follow one of his examples. He famously said that every day he gave an “expression of care” to each child who watched his television program. He hated the poor ways that television influenced children, but knew he could use his place on television to do good.
Moms, it’s time for a good, old-fashioned Mister Rogers-style expression of care. I hate the ways the internet is used to hurt and harm. But I also think that we can use our corner of it to do good.
Please let me lay aside any formalities and put on my proverbial “cardigan sweater”. On behalf of the Des Moines Mom team, I want to simply say you matter. We see you and we care.
You are making a difference in these days by “just your being you”. It is okay to mention what you are feeling and it’s “okay to feel sad sometimes.” We don’t know exactly how things will pan out, but we do believe that everything will be okay.
We’re so glad you are our “neighbor” and truly, it is you we like.