Navigating Murky Waters

Back in 2014, there was a measles outbreak in Orange County. The Covic-19 pandemic in 2020 takes me back. Back then, the sentiment was...Break out the masks, lock away your children and batten down the hatches! In other words...PANIC! Does that sound familiar?

As a self-professed, well-intentioned mama bear, I understand the urge to seek out and share information. We would be negligent to keep the facts to ourselves, right? But sometimes, along with the information exchange came some pretty harsh finger-pointing and shaming, particularly at those who see things differently than us. I completely understand the urge to find the truest version of the truth, the belief that more information will protect us, but condemnation isn't productive people. It separates us from that which connects us in the first place: our common parental motivation to do what's best.

Part of living in a close-knit community and espousing the "it-takes-a-village" approach to raising children, brings with it a deep and unavoidable caring about others: other parents burdened by the weight of the world, children who seek and need some normalcy, and community members who are suffering. But the worry is no excuse for being unkind.

As the months of the current pandemic ensued, we have witnessed some beautiful examples of loving each other, but we have also seen the nastiest of humanity emerge. And, just like in 2014, I think this is why:

Parents have strong emotions about things like contagious inflictions like measles, Covid-19, even lice and the stomach flu, because we're hard-wired to protect. For some, that extends to guarding against the terribly tragic effects of shut-downs too. The fear and concern come from the heart...the caring, feeling heart. 

But what I've learned over twenty years of parenting is this: throughout life, parents need other parents. When we're vulnerable and scared, we need each other for strength and perspective. When we're hurting and divided, we need each other's grace and humanity. And as we navigate all the different, "do-what's-best" waters, let's remember one thing: we are in the same, floating-on-choppy-seas boat, and often the best option is to grab an oar and paddle. Together, let's keep us all afloat. 

With love and grace. 


#keepingitmessy #covidedition

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Holly and Jenn