Dear Daughter, What You’ll Remember from COVID-19

My dear daughter, this has been an unusual time. I’ve tried to keep things as ‘normal’ for you as possible, but I’ve got to be honest: things are not normal. I feel fortunate that you just turned 5 years old, and being able to play daily is what ranks as a great day to you. I do hope there are some key things you will remember when this is all over (if it is ever really ‘over’?).

The school shutdown coincided with your 5th birthday. We had to pivot quickly, to cancel your much anticipated party, and make this day special for you. Your birthday was days from the beginning of shutdown, so we hadn’t thought of ‘drive-by parties’, but you’ll remember how special you felt when you received multiple presents dropped off at our door ‘in secret’, and dozens of messenger calls from friends and family thinking of you. I hope you’ll remember that Nanna was here, and we got to celebrate your birthday together as a family, with all the focus on you.

I hope you don’t remember we had to cancel going to Disneyland with your friend.

You will hopefully remember hours and hours of my undivided attention. Wandering seemingly aimlessly, finding treasures or ‘hunting’ for unicorns. You might remember we came really close to finding a unicorn, too. We found their village and followed their ‘droppings’ for quite some time, but never quite saw one.

I hope you remember how happy you were. You rested, you played, you weren’t rushed to move from one activity to the next. We lingered, we examined, and left room to be curious. Giving that room to breathe made everything easier. We didn’t argue or fight. There were fewer tears. I can honestly say, you’ve never been happier.

You might remember that you missed your friends, but only a couple of them will stand out. I don’t think you missed school, honestly, but the child interaction is what you crave. You might remember how awesome it has been not to be dragged to school early in the morning and picked up later that night, spending hours and hours outside the home.

I hope you don’t remember how truly painful the bi-weekly Zoom meetings with your kindergarten class were. Despite your teacher’s best efforts, those are a memory I hope we both forget.

Most of all, I hope you remember you were happy and loved. While the world crumbled around us, we were together and enjoying the little things in life. Nothing else mattered as long as we had our home and each other, and I like to think you will remember that most of all. That this wasn’t a stressful time, it was an ‘us’ time, and those moments in time are so rare.

I hope you don’t remember this big bad bug.

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