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03/29/2020 04:06:30 PM


Aviva Geigel

This past Shabbat, my spouse turned to me and said, "It's only been two weeks since the kids have been home."

I don't know why I was surprised by that. Did it feel longer? Shorter? On one hand, it certainly did not feel like two weeks, or that the world could have possibly changed so much in just two short weeks. Or perhaps it was being able to be home with my kids every day without having the hectic rush of our typical routines. The time period had brought a sense of calmness into my home that I never imagined - in just two short weeks.

Before coronavirus sheltered us to our homes, the routine was to get up, wake the kids, get them off to school, go to work, come home, start the night routine. Ask my kids the usual retinue of questions: How was school, What homework do you have, Who did you sit next to at lunch…etc. Those questions we all ask or have asked and that we sometimes find ourselves not even listening to the answers. 

There was stress around daily homework, keeping my eye on the clocks making sure we are in the ballpark of bed time, while the dirty dinner dishes sat in the sink. And I still had to respond to emails and complete a project for work.  Get myself into bed between 12:00 and 1:00 am and then wake up at 6:00 am and do it all over again.

Yes we have all been home for the past two weeks, and we all have our moments where we just need some fresh air. I am constantly shushing the kids that I am on a conference call. I am still figuring out the schedules for their on-line learning as it seems to change all the time. However, one day last week, there was a moment that just changed everything. 

I had just gotten off a video conference call and walked out of my office. My daughter asked me why I was wearing a Shabbat shirt with pajama pants and slippers, and I looked down at myself and then at her and we both just started to laugh. The other kids came out of their room and saw me standing there, dressed ridiculously and we all just started to laugh. It was a moment where we all just understood in our own way that the world is no longer the same and it may never be again, but we are all in this together as a family. 

The relationships between my kids have become stronger. My relationship with my kids has grown. We have all learned to co-exist under the same roof. Who would have thought a month ago, that I would have basketball tournaments in the driveway on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm, laser-tag with all the lights out at night, learn how to play diablo, the updated version of cops and robbers, new card games, clean for Pesach as a family, eat breakfast lunch and dinners as a family, play video games as a family, teach my kids some cooking tips and tricks. Who would have thought, that I am enjoying being confined to my home with my family this much; that I am surprised how quickly these past two weeks have flown by.
There will always be some sort of stress in our lives. When times are “normal,” there are always things to do for work. For now, we are stuck. For whatever reason, the world has pressed pause. 

Speaking to those home with their kids:

Taking our social distancing situation for granted, and if our families are fortunate enough to be blessed with health, why not try to see this time as a privilege?  That we get to spend with our children - because one day (hopefully soon) we will have to get back into the old routine.

May Hashem continue to give us the strength to wake up and take on the day, to heal all the people that are sick and let this virus pass with the no more death in its wake.

Stay healthy and always look for the alternate perspective.

When I saw this excerpt below, it made me smile…

By: Aviva Geigel

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782