My husband and I got married in 2018 in an old-fashioned movie theater. Nothing about our relationship was ever boring, so why would our ceremony be? Fourteen months later, on November 16, 2019, we had our daughter, Parker.
When we brought Parker home, COVID-19 was not even a household topic. We never heard of it, we didn’t know it was coming, and we sure as heck didn’t know what it would become. As first-time parents, we were skeptical about taking Parker out into the world. After all, the flu season was in full-swing (boy, we had no idea what was coming).
Then, in mid-March, our little family decided to dive deep into quarantine at the suggestion of our governor. Parker was around four months old at that time, and things were difficult. She was hardly sleeping, always hungry, and would cry more than we ever thought a baby should. Being a first-time mom, I had no idea how to take care of this little being. Every day I would wake up feeling like Bill Murray in my own rendition of Groundhog’s Day. As I was raised to be a strong, capable woman, I never thought that our family would help us raise our child, but COVID-19 made it incredibly hard for them to even see her in person safely (at least as much and in the way we always thought they would).
So March turned into April, and April turned into May. Summer started, and the weather confirmed it, but everyday summer social activities ceased to exist. At first, I worried about Parker’s development. How would her social skills be? Does she know what’s going on? Can she tell we’re scared? These were some of the questions that raced through my mind. During these times of questioning, it was when I felt most like a mother.
Then, one day, I stopped. Instead of worrying and asking these questions, I observed my daughter. Through her innocence, I noticed she doesn’t show judgment or an ulterior motive. She doesn’t just appreciate attention, food, drink, and shelter, but she acknowledges it with a smile or a laugh. Besides a short attention span, she’s present. She doesn’t have anybody to text or any apps to look through. She’s also curious. When she sees bubbles, she smiles in amazement of them. She doesn’t worry about brands or obsess about dieting as we do. And when she hears music, it doesn’t matter what she’s doing. She’ll start moving to the beat.
During this pandemic, I thought my responsibility, as a mother, was to take care of my little girl. It turns out she’s taking care of me, showing me how to live wholeheartedly, one bubble at a time. Oh, and to dance whenever the situation asks for it.