Kat Kelly – My job as a mother is to give my children roots and to give them wings.
When I became a parent, I had a slight inkling of what my life might look like. Of course I visualized my babies. Then I imagined them growing into small children and then someday into the most amazing grown-ups.
What I never imagined is that I would be raising two small children during a pandemic that the world gave up on. A pandemic that became politicized. A pandemic that created division upon division until the people who were still focused on community were standing on tiny islands all alone.
Since we pulled our children out of pre-K in March of 2020, the magical childhood that I envisioned and hoped for my children has been ripped away.
The American response to the Covid-19 pandemic quickly became a failure of government, community leaders, many healthcare providers, faith leaders, many families, and former allies. What started as “we are all in this together” quickly morphed into “I’m over this and you’re on your own.”
It’s been hard at best. Beyond that it’s been psychologically damaging on a deep level.
Raising my children to demonstrate that we can mask and take precautions to help ourselves and our communities has left them wondering why we are often the only ones.
On a much deeper level, as I tap into my faith and spirituality, I believe that Covid is a way for Jesus to see who we really are.
Regardless of what people believe from a religious perspective, I’m hoping that most of us can agree that Jesus was a pretty awesome guy who gave us quite the guidelines for how can best love and care for one another.
And yet, if he was sending out this pandemic as a test of humanity, I would argue that we have failed one another deeply.
At the time of this writing, Covid-19 is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It also leads to long term issues that can cause the first two leading causes of death. And, of course, it’s now a leading cause of long-term disabilities.
When do we come together? When do we help one another? Why isn’t the messaging about masking more positive? Even when it’s not Covid, we should have learned about how we can minimize spreading sickness to one another by stopping the spread of our germs.
We have learned that cleaning the air inside of buildings can have a really positive impact on the spread of viruses and pathogens. The air is cleaned for the president, why isn’t cleaning the air a topic of discussion to help protect our children in schools? Clean air should become as big a priority as clean water.
As I often do, I let this writing simmer. And when I began it over a year ago, it had been almost three years since I had a professional haircut. At the time, I had devolved into chopping chunks off with kid scissors.
As I look back on where this writing started, I was longing for some pampering in a salon. I’ve since found a way to do that while mitigating my own risk as much as possible in a world that has given up. But, I alternate those moments with the kid scissor haircuts nowadays.
But, all of that feels like small beans now when we look at what lies ahead of us.
It feels like small beans when I’m teaching my children to care in a world that doesn’t actually appear to care. We would like a little balance in our lives rather than having to take unnecessary risks over a virus that we know how to mitigate.
My children are rooted in compassion. And their wings will carry them to build a better world. It would be nice if more of us were working toward that goal.
Jesus called on us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And we should have used this opportunity to get things right.
Maybe we can try again.
Kat Kelly is the founder of Vexteo Media Group and is passionate about being the best human possible.
Photo Source: Neal E. Johnson, @neal_johnson, via Unsplash.