The past couple of summers, my older children took clay classes at a nearby art museum. While they created, the other kids and I developed a sweet routine of going on a walk, grabbing a snack, and playing at the park. Like so many things in life right now, we missed those days this summer.
Yesterday, though, we finally had the opportunity to recapture a little bit of that art class/mommy time joy. I dropped a few of the kids off at an art class, grabbed some hot chocolate from a local coffee shop, and the 2 year old, 5 year old, and I played a park until it was time for pick up. It was misting, the ground was wet, and it wasn’t our “usual” routine, but it felt like a beautiful glimpse of normalcy.
Discovering this new art class and playground got me thinking about all of the things we’ve missed over the past several months, and all of the things we’ve discovered along the way.
I’d love to hear what you’ve missed and what you’ve found, too! Here are a few of mine.
We’ve all missed in-person time with friends, the kids especially. But with few friends around, our kids’ sibling relationships have deepened and turned into a rich blessing. Turns out our kids appreciate each other more the more time they spend together! What a sweet outcome during a difficult time.
At first, playgrounds being closed made for some sad kiddos. Then we discovered several nature trails nearby that we didn’t know about before. Long hikes and wading filled in the holes that a closed playground left. Who knew there was such beauty in our little neck of the woods?
We are a sports loving family, so it was tough when Tae Kwon Do and little league baseball were cancelled. To stay active we started going on several bike rides each week and multiple walks a day. Let’s just say we got to know our small town quite well :).
Even better, we started doing Zoom yoga classes with Fit Mooney each Sunday afternoon. Our family around the country joined in the classes, too, so we were able to practice yoga “together” each week! These are such encouraging, accessible classes that I’m excited Melissa from Fit Mooney is letting me give away two free sessions (details at the end of this post)!
Since we don’t live in the same town as extended family, it was a long time before we were able to see other in person. Luckily, my siblings came up with some creative ways to stay connected! My sister gave one of our kids weekly Spanish lessons via FaceTime, another sister joined an online writing group that met live via Zoom, and my brother taught me the art of sourdough bread making all over the phone! I’m naturally suspicious of technology taking the place of face to face conversation, but it was wonderful to discover that it can be a great tool for connecting to each other as well. (The photo below is from when my brother and I finally got to bake together!)
Of course we missed all of the travel plans and activities we had on the calendar for Spring-Fall of 2020. Along with music, sports, art, and other school/extracurricular events, we were going to travel to Washington D.C. and Tennessee as a family on carefully planned roadtrips. I learned, yet again, that you don’t need a full schedule to have a full heart. We filled our freed-up time with hikes, playing outside, making blanket forts, and reading good books aloud together (like Anne of Green Gables!). Slow things that matter more than all of the trips in the world.
Last, but not least, these past several months of missing normalcy have served to point us to the one Hope. Sometimes it’s not until everything is stripped away, that you remember what truly matters. Making Hope Pouches throughout the pandemic has reminded me over and over again that “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness'”. It can be easy to forget true hope when life is running as normal!
I love our weekly live yoga classes with Fit Mooney so much that I’m giving away two sessions! Live classes are Sunday afternooons, but a recording is available for those not able to make it at that time or for those who want to practice more throughout the week. These encouraging sessions span all abilities and age levels! I’m a beginner, and my kids even join in :). To win a spot in next the Zoom session on September 20th, comment on Facebook or Instagram with what your favorite “pandemic discovery” has been!