You never imagined that you would be here, juggling your child’s health and a global pandemic. This is the stuff of dystopian novels, and somehow it has also become your life.
I want you to know that I see you and that you’re not alone.
I see you as the world opens back up and your friends and extended family head out, but you’re still home in a perpetual waiting game. No matter the phase or stage the governor declares, you can’t go out, because the person you have been entrusted with depends on you being home.
I want you to know I see you as you wrestle with impossible decisions about keeping your child safe while still providing for them.
I want you to know I see you as you turn down the invitations to family dinners, weddings, and parties. I see you as you wonder if people will remember you when this is over. I see you as you juggle the needs of your other children while caring for your vulnerable one.
I want you to know that I see you as you search the internet for your child’s medical condition and COVID, reading articles and medical journals, searching for answers that google can never provide, because what you really want to know is if your baby will be alright.
I want you to know I see you as you wrestle with the risk of a million tiny decisions that suddenly seem monumental, from running into the store for milk to getting your teeth cleaned. Suddenly every choice carries the weight of life and death, and that is a lot to carry when you just need some bread.
I want you to know I see you as strangers comment on this virus “only” impacting the elderly and medically fragile and your heart breaks because that medically fragile person is your baby.
Mama, I see you.
There is no use in pretending this time is anything less than terrible, and there’s no cute saying or advice that is going to change that reality. You have already heard enough of that business, and the fact that you didn’t commit a crime in response is cause for a medal.
I wish I could pour you a cup of (socially distanced) tea and listen while you tell me the whole story. I would remind you that you are impossibly strong and that you are going to make it, but also, you probably need a good cry. I would encourage you to make everything else about your life easier because what you are juggling is enough.
This is a time for cereal for dinner and too much TV. It’s time to take deep breaths at every available opportunity and to move as slowly as possible. It’s a time to look deep into the eyes of these people you love so much, who are worth all you are sacrificing, and know that your family sees that love too, and they are going to forever be marked by the love they see in you.
Mama, I see you.