Instead of hearing the sounds of children playing, the sounds of giggling and running in the streets, you hear quiet. There’s silence. It’s like a balloon floating around alone in the street. The balloon lifts slowly off the ground each time a breeze carries it. But it doesn’t go far. When the wind blows ever so gently it gives the balloon a slight push.
It’s a balloon alone in the street. No children running excitedly towards the balloon trying to catch it. No children giggling because two friends are running so fast to catch the balloon and instead of catching it smack into each other and fall happily on the ground.
Those are the sounds that we miss.
Now you feel alone. You are walking alone because there is no one around. Finally when you do see some life on the other side walking towards you you can’t help but think, oh my goodness does that person have the virus? As they get closer you try and force a smile behind your worried eyes as a greeting and keep on walking. You look back once in a while just to be sure that people are still out there. You try to get back to civilization or you try to get back to your everyday life but it’s no longer the same. It’s not the everyday life that you remember it to be it’s different.
What we are all feeling is different. There’s a lot of fear still. There’s a lot of uncertainty. Instead of the excitement of looking ahead, which we can’t really do right now, we are presented with the fear of truly not knowing.
I want to be excited about summer camp plans we made for our children. I always looked forward to picking up the kids after camp to hear all about what they did and learned. Staring at their red faces because you know they were sweating and having a good time. Their hair is a little wet and curling in some areas and you just see their smile and happiness. And although their face looks tired you know it was a fulfilled day. Vacation trips. Play dates with friends. That’s no longer in our reach right now. The end of the year actually the end of school year excitement is gone because the kids haven’t been in the classroom. Other than virtual classrooms and meeting with teachers online and seeing students it’s not the same.
The interactions are not the same. The little groups gone. The friends that come together and start talking is no longer the same. Things are changing. Is it our fault?
Were we taking things for granted not really realizing the harm that we could possibly be doing to each other and the Earth.
As a mother, all I want to do is see my kids smile. And when something or someone takes away that smile it hurts you deeply. But you have to keep reminding yourself that they are safe. They are healthy. They are still very much loved.
And hopefully this too shall pass.
But in the meantime, all I do is stare at this balloon. It just keeps floating and then just stands still. Just as I do.