Tag Archives: Covid-19

Becoming Grandma in the Time of Covid

I prepare to meet my granddaughter two weeks before she is born. That is when I say goodbye to my mom after a ten-day visit and return home to begin quarantining. I go to my daughter’s house the day before her scheduled c-section and stay for a week.

Early Monday morning, Martin Luther King Day, my son-in-law drives my girl to the hospital where together they will meet their precious daughter and learn to be a family in the time of Covid.

I take care of grandpets, Wren the dog and Bunga the cat. They are priorities until hospital discharge. I do not go anywhere except on walks with the dog. I avoid the hospital and will meet my precious grandbaby face to face when her parents bring her home.

Such is becoming Grandma in the time of Covid. There is much planning and preparing to keep fragile bodies safe, and it seems I am surrounded by fragility of life at both ends. Choosing to focus on becoming grandma means laying aside my daughter role and leaving the tending of Mom to capable siblings.

It means receiving and sending pictures of that precious new little one instead of visiting and holding her right away. It is FaceTiming to see that squishy little face and waiting for her parents to make public posts announcing her.

It is meeting her, finally, on her fourth day of life and snuggling and loving and rocking her. It is washing dishes and preparing food and tidying up. It is soaking up three days together before returning home, unsure of when I will see her next.

I return home with the understanding that I do not know when I will see sweet granddaughter in person again. My focus returns to Mom as my daughter learns to be Mom. She keeps little one safe and secure and isolated from the outside world, feeding, diapering, sleeping, and sending pictures.

Becoming Grandma in the time of Covid is my story. It is the feeling of joy and delight in seeing my daughter becoming a mom, and an amazing one at that. It is seeing my son-in-law as a wonderful daddy and seeing the best of them both in a tiny squish.

Listening

I arrive at the blog the day after my 49th birthday with a desire to break silence and write something here.

Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. Proverbs 1:32b, NLT

I feel this today. The cost of complacency. My battle against it as an Enneagram 9 is thick. Lately I have been warring inside to show up in the spaces. Any of them. Every time I do show up anywhere, it is work.

The words in my head are fast and furious. Ushering them through the keys to the page is the battle. I lean in and stand firm at the desk in my tiny home office. Eyeing the clock in the bottom corner of the screen, I invite the words to line up.

Each wants to be first. To say its piece. To jump out before being judged and sent to the end of the line. Time is running short. I have only minutes before the next thing. It’s tempting to pivot away to something else.

It is no secret that our country is in a state of collective trauma and chaos. From COVID-19 and the pandemic to the most recently publicized unjust killings and police brutality against the African-American community, this is a persistent state of unrest.

Cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Proverbs 2:3, NLT

This is where I have been. Crying out and asking. Listening.

Therefore they must eat the bitter fruit of their own way, choking on their own schemes. Proverbs 1:31, NLT

I am examining the bitter fruit in my own life. Ways that I have chosen comfort over truth. Safety over honesty. Blindness over sight.

And what do I do with the bitterness? The feeling of choking? How do I try to escape it by justifying instead of naming honestly? How do I rush to feel better at the cost of ignoring the plight of another?

I can still breathe.

I have more questions than answers. Where do I turn outside of myself? Who do I listen to and heed?

I am listening to my brothers and sisters of color. To faithful leaders who are doing the work of teaching and leaning in to reconciliation. I do not have answers which is why I am quiet.

I am listening.

Learn all you can

From those who are wiser

Practice doing what is right, just, and fair.

Fearing the Lord

While listening to counsel

From genuine heart~friends

Will help you grow wise. 

~thoughts on Proverbs 1~

YOU are Essential

Where are the blankets to put over the plants?

The text from my husband comes as I am out on a necessary errand. I respond in usual generalities, grateful for his awareness of impending cold temperatures, care of our plants, and willingness to search for the blankets.

Spring brings beautiful sunny days and unexpected chills.

This spring has brought even more unexpected beauty (time to notice the brilliant blooms) and chill (facing COVID-19) as we continue to navigate, slow down, and step into new rhythms and routines. My planner tells me we are in week 5 of sheltering in place, but within that time there have been so many changes.

I have only recently begun to settle in.

Settling in looks like consistently working from the home office, going into the studio on Saturdays. It is the kids getting used to the white noise machine running outside the home office door and knowing I am on a call and not to interrupt. It is interruptions at all other times.

It is fielding questions and needs from each child at home and then when I think I have heard from everyone and can hunker down to work, responding to, Dewey is out of the gate! by flying down the steps and out the side door, because someone has left the yard gate open and Dewey is happily scampering out of bounds freely.

It’s flexibility amidst uncertainty and continuing to do the next thing before me while not knowing when this will end and things will change and how they will look when all is said and done.

How are YOU doing?

Last night I watched a webinar on Compassion Fatigue put on by my sister, Sharon Hicks, MA, LPC, of Kintsukuroi Counseling. The act of creating space to tend to my own heart in the midst of this season brought on copious tears. As I made time to slow down and have someone help me hold space without having to solve or fix anything, I was able to name personal grief and losses.

It felt kind to sit in a space of self-care.

What does this season look like for you? Where do you feel the chill of spring’s freeze and need a blanket brought to cover your tender new growth? How are you caring for yourself during this time? How are you caring for others? Where do you need support?

Don’t walk alone. Don’t hold all of the things for everyone else. Take time for yourself, as well. . . to tend, to think, to create, to breathe.

It is essential.

YOU are essential!