Author: Karen Copeland
A lot of things have been on my mind lately. Most notably is that I have refrained from giving voice to some of the things we are going through, I think because I wonder if I voice them they will become real. They would be out there for any and all to see. Vulnerability. It scares me. As much as my confidence in who I am as a parent and a person has grown, I still have these moments where I feel…not there yet.
I have been struggling with isolation. We are going through a period of time where we are having a very hard time getting out of the house to do anything. When people ask how the homeschooling is going, my response is “well, he’s at home”. This juggling of society’s expectation of academic learning versus knowing that what my son needs and is asking for right now is safety. This is hard. It often seems like we are not getting anywhere, we are simply “in place” at the moment. Not necessarily moving forward, but thankfully, not moving backward either.
This isolation is hard. We long for connection, for a purpose. Instead, we sit at home.
We woke up to a beautiful Easter Sunday. My husband and I decided we MUST do something as a family today. We would not give in to the anxiety beast today. But what to do? Every option we suggested was dismissed.
Thankfully, a dear friend called up and suggested a hike with her girls and our family.
A hike. [if you know me well, you are laughing right now!]
This would not be on our list of preferred activities, but we are at the point where it’s not about preference, it is about finding any way to get our family out of the house. We had to be strategic in how we sold this outing to our son, so we turned on his favorite tv show “Hope for Wildlife” and suggested we might see some animals on the way, this encouraged him to come along.
It was interesting to me to see the transformation in our kids as we started up the path. There was excitement, enthusiasm, and lots of chatter. The kids moved ahead quickly, leaving us adults behind.
We made it further up the path than we ever expected. There were definitely challenges along the way, but it was wonderful to watch the kids encourage each other to continue on.
I reflected on how much easier it is to overcome when we have friends around us, supporting us, encouraging us, believing in us. How we can get so much further than if we were simply on our own.
Was the hike a complete success? With a laugh, I say “not quite”. It is unlikely that we will convince a couple of the kids that we should try this again.
We almost made it to the top. We surpassed our expectations of a 30 minute hike [it turned into 90 minutes]. We survived, we endured the challenges, we worked through them and made it back down all in one piece. We laughed and we enjoyed our time with each other. We can look back on today and say yes! we did it!
For a moment, we were no longer “in place”.
We were living, and it was marvelous.