Even though our kids haven’t been home quarantining with us during the pandemic, Karen and I have stayed in regular contact with them.
We chat with them via text messages, sometimes multiple times a day. Because even if your kid is an adult, you don’t stop being a parent.
We talk on the phone regularly. (The kids might say I call too much.)
And, when we need to see their faces, we’ll reach out via FaceTime.
Pre-pandemic, family dinners were important nights for us.
A time for the family to gather around the dining room table, share a meal, and talk about what’s been happening in each other’s lives.
These days, family dinners look a little different, but the pandemic hasn’t stopped them.
They were simply too important to let go.
We’ll all log in to Zoom and enjoy a meal together once a week.
It’s always scheduled, so as not to interfere with work or other obligations.
Karen and I talk about what the neighbors have been up to and new recipes we’ve tried.
The kids share stories of their adventures going to the grocery store and what’s been happening in their world.
And, of course, the kids always need an update on Ellie.
I’ll usually flip my computer screen around so they can get a look at her.
(She’s usually laying right at my feet, hoping I’ll “accidentally” drop a piece of chicken or carrot.)
These family dinners have filled my heart with joy, and become something to look forward to each week.
It’s not just the kids we’ve kept up contact with.
To stay connected with friends, I’ve continued to play online games, like Words with Friends, with my old crew in Texas.
And, now that Netflix is allowing “watch parties” with friends, Karen and her group of besties will get together to watch (and comment on) favorite movies and TV shows.
(I can’t really tell you what they’re watching, as I usually retreat to my office during this time, but I can tell you a lot of laughing is involved… and maybe a little wine.)
We try to have contact with at least one friend or family member each day.
Because staying connected to our loved ones during our time of social distancing is essential to our emotional well-being.
Especially for older folks who are more likely to experience feelings of sadness and loneliness.
So, if you’re not staying connected, now’s the time to turn that around.
Reach out to your loved ones.
Make plans to “see” each other online.
Read a book to your grandkids via FaceTime.
Have an online book club meeting with a group of friends using Zoom.
Share a meal with the family.
The possibilities are endless, but they won’t happen unless you make them happen.
Make it date, put it on your schedule, and enjoy time “together.”
Stay safe out there.