3 Things I Learned about my Boys During “Stay At Home”
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We’ve been home for 8-ish weeks now due to Coronavirus.
While I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster at times, and at other times very content, there are a few things I noticed about my boys during this season that I want to remember.
David, my oldest, is 6, and Luke is 5. They are 14 months apart in age and were confused as twins for a bit of time when they were both really little (like 2 and 3). Now that they are both getting older, you can see their unique personalities more. And since Coronavirus has shut down so much of the outside world, this is probably the most condensed amount of time I’ve spent with my boys in the house since they started pre-school and kindergarten.
I’ve noticed a few things, and I’m grateful to be able to have this time with them to really witness their pure personalities coming through.
One. They are resilient and flexible. Both of them fell right into this “stay at home” life without a moment of complaint or sadness. They couldn’t quite grasp what was happening, of course, but we did share that people were getting sick and we needed to stay home to stay healthy and make sure we didn’t get anyone else sick with our germs. This didn’t alarm either of them, they accepted it as a very pragmatic fact of the world right now, and only occasionally asked if we could go to Defy Apex or to a park to play.
It actually surprised me how fine they were with staying home every day. Other than weekly swim school which we stopped over a year ago, the boys haven’t done any sports or activities outside of attending school. We go plenty of places with them, from the library to indoor trampoline parks, and I thought the abrupt inability to go anywhere would take a toll on them. It really didn’t, and they also were pretty content with not returning to school.
Schooling at home is an entirely different subject that I won’t jump into too much in this post, but I can say that they both have done well and it’s been great to be able to essentially pull Luke up to “kindergarten” level with David and teach them both the same thing. The greatest challenge in homeschooling has been managing my 2-year-old Emily during that time.
Two. They play really well together but also have very different interests. They have always played well together and I’m so thankful for that. However, if you were to give them a quiz and ask them a multiple-choice question about what they prefer, I’m positive you would get entirely different results from both of them. David is a “worker” and will drop anything to be able to help Justin with anything he’s doing around the house. Luke prefers to play inside and is really thoughtful and considerate. Both boys love to ride their bikes and scooters, and Luke is a little bit braver when it comes to doing various flips or jumps in a bounce house or on a trampoline. I think David feels competitive with Luke when it comes to physical activity, while Luke generally isn’t bothered if David can do something that he can’t do.
Three. They thrive on individual attention. The wonderful part of having two boys close together in age is built-in playmates, and that has been an absolute gift during this “stay at home” time when we aren’t playing with friends. It’s easy for Justin and I to look at our 3 kids and put them into two groups: “the boys” and “the baby”. And every single time, I kid you not, that either Justin or I have individual time with either of the boys, we share with the other person how nice it is to just focus on the one kid. They can easily egg each other on, so when you remove the other from a situation, it’s like you are with a completely different child!
There has been so much to learn during this “Stay at Home” season, and some things are easier than others. The depth of loss, pain, and struggle that so many people are dealing with is something I feel deeply, so it has taken diligent effort to compartmentalize what I can in order to see the good. And one of the greatest goods, that was highlighted so clearly when this virus started stealing so much of it, is time.
I’m so grateful for the time with my kids, and for the ability to see their unique personalities shine through in this season.