Each of my kids has one core person they are able to spend time with. In the first few months of COVID, they went without seeing anyone and it wasn’t easy for them although they rarely complained about it. They understood it was temporary and had to happen and honestly, they seemed to handle it better than I did.
My teens opted to do school fully online
As summer came to an end it became clear that they weren’t going back to school full time. The numbers in our area started soaring — we went from a few dozen cases a day to over four hundred a day and no one was getting any part of their old life back any time soon.
My children opted to stay home this year, but are missing their friends and the business that used to fill their days. They have all been nostalgic thinking about how last year they were going to school full time, attending sleepovers, going to work without a mask, and being able to go to a game or event whenever they wanted.
I comfort myself by doing things for them
Because we are all cooped up together I’ve found quite a bit of comfort in doing things for them. I’ve always loved to make their food, take them out to buy a new sweater, or surprise them with a caramel frappe. But now, I find myself wanting to do more for them because I know how hard this is on them.
We have been doing a lot more take-out lately. My kids love this and my oldest son enjoys having an excuse to take a ride to pick it up. Clearly, this helps me out since we live in a remote area with no delivery service. To thank him a bit extra for taking care of this for me I always tell him to pick up his favorite drink and the overly processed energy bars he loves.
Last Christmas, my daughter really wanted to get her friend a few gifts for Christmas and it was fun to sit down with her and help her pick some things out. She was prepared to hand over her money, but I told her this year those gifts were on me. She could save her money to buy something nice for herself.
And the other day in the middle of working, she sent me a TikTok showing how to make these delicious lava cakes in a mug. She asked if we could make them and normally, I would have told her that she’d have to wait until after I was done working. But the pull to spend time with her was strong. I stopped what I was doing and baking with her turned into over an hour of bonding and talking.
Right now our kids need a little extra support
Our kids need our support and love always and forever. That’s never going to change. But right now, right now they need extra. We are their company and their companions. We are their support and networking system. We are the people they can count on and look to for direction.
They are looking at us to see how to get through this and while we don’t have to paint an unrealistic image and walk around smiling from ear to ear at every turn, we can take a little more time for them when they need it.
There are little things I can do for my teens
I can tell my son this month’s car insurance is on me. I can say yes a few more times than I say no.
I can give them a little more cheer because so many of the tools and activities that used to bring them joy, like going out to eat and shopping with their friends, aren’t happening right now.
And if the little things like making Monday night pizza night, and Wednesday night take-out night, and Friday ice cream for dinner night means I’m spoiling my kids then so be it. Maybe buying them a few more material things isn’t going to fix it all, but maybe it will help just a little.
A little spoiling is something I can give them now
It’s something I can offer them right now that they look forward to. These are memories I can create to make this tough time a little less tough. Also, getting a package in the mail every so often, regardless of what’s inside, makes your day better.
So, yes my kids can cook for themselves and they can use their own money to buy themselves a little something if they’d like. But, if I can spoil them a little to lift the mood around here and my mother instincts tell me that’s the right thing to do, then I’m going to go ahead and do that.
That mom-voice hasn’t steered me wrong yet so I’ll keep listening to her.
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