I was looking through home videos with our youngest daughter and was struck with how much of our way of life has changed in such a brief amount of time. Shortly after that the children and I were reading Curious George together; the inquisitive little monkey was on his way to his town’s centennial celebration. I realized that our children may never experience a gathering of citizens mutually celebrating together. I suddenly realized that in the space of less than 12 months the fabric of our nation has changed.
Mardi Gras, not something I celebrate but I do recognize it as an iconic event, will not occur this year. We have accepted lonely Thanksgivings, cancelled Christmases, empty concert halls, abandoned elderly, depressed teenagers, anxious children, ruined small businesses, fearful citizens, and isolated neighbors as our new normal. It’s a refreshing change to see someone’s full face or to hug a friend without hesitation. Shaking hands, once considered proper social etiquette is frowned upon, as is friends gathering together in a home.
What saddens me about these changes is that our nation’s children won’t remember anything else. We will have to tell them about Fourth of July celebrations and Christmas concerts and county fairs. They won’t know how to interact with people in close proximity to them and will assume that virtual is how everything is done. They won’t know about play groups or going with a big church group to get ice cream together or field trips with friends to the museum. Large families will be isolated from seeing grandparents and family reunions will be a thing of the past.
I got together with some other moms today and it was SO GOOD and SO NEEDED for all of us. For a little while we could forget about the chaos and division and confusion in our land and just be moms sharing about life. As I headed home I thought, “THIS is what we need more of. We need to get back to community and discussion. We need to get back to living.”
I don’t have the answers. I’m simply a mom processing the rapid flow of events over the past year. I see division, despair, and resignation all around me. I see what made America unique: the traditions, the camaraderie, the icons, becoming history. I see our youngest generation growing up isolated, fearful and disconnected. Have we really thought this through? Are we really going about this the right way? I miss our way of life; I miss liberty.