The global pandemic has created unique opportunities for me and learning opportunities that I wouldn’t have sought out. I am now somewhat familiar with the social media app TikTok. I had to Google ‘A guide for clueless parents’ before I could have said this. I’ve learned that Twitch is a popular game streaming service. Also, the Nintendo Switch gaming console is pretty cool and fun. Some of the benefits of the quarantine have been completely unpredictable and at the same time so valuable. I don’t know about you but I’ve learned some really valuable things.
My youngest daughter, apparently has a great sense of humor. She’s been making TikTok videos that crack me up! She finds funny things in the house and yard. Duck clock, bonsai, stuff by the creek and makes videos about them. She’s also taught me a bunch of dance moves from others’ videos. Who knew? Check her out at @amber_amazing159.
My son has subscribers and followers on his Twitch gaming account and offers streaming for fans now on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. FNAF is his specialty. He even has a brand kit based around his avatar and had my oldest daughter take a crack at it. He gets donations. I never saw this coming. Check him out at Rrudd88.
I’ve gotten to know my second daughter’s boyfriend a bit too. When they are here, we play Mario Party on his Nintendo Switch. We high five. I like the characters Daisy and Boo and I prefer play against the rest of them in a 3 vs. 1 video game but high fiving the others when you win gives you two more coins. That knowledge wasn’t part of my original 2020 plans.
As well, sitting and petting my seventeen year old cat along with long walks in the woods with the dogs off leash have been a regular go to. Our dog Henry prefers to go off the path and hops like a gazelle. Luke, however, stays closer by but will roll in anything he can get away with. Again, who knew?
There’s been collaboration in unique ways. Richer, deeper understanding of my family and our relationships. While I would never have chosen the circumstances that created this, interesting and memorable things are happening and I am extremely grateful for all of it.
The poem, ‘And People Stayed Home’ by Kathleen O’Mara in 1869 after the Irish family resurged during the 1918 pandemic and is making its rounds again for good reason. Enjoy and take heed.
And people stayed at home And read books And listened And they rested And did exercises And made art and played And learned new ways of being And stopped and listened More deeply Someone meditated, someone prayed Someone met their shadow And people began to think differently And people healed. And in the absence of people who Lived in ignorant ways Dangerous, meaningless and heartless, The earth also began to heal And when the danger ended and People found themselves They grieved for the dead And made new choices And dreamed of new visions And created new ways of living And completely healed the earth Just as they were healed.