Dear Grace and Whit

Dear Grace and Whit,

For the last week or two I’ve been thinking about the things I hope you’ll remember from this time.  About what I hope you’ve learned, or had reinforced, during these surprising and disorienting months at home.

Family is everything.  Your roots are deep.  We have sat down for family dinner for 60 plus days in a row.  Without fail.  We ordered in once, but have cooked every single other night.  Family dinner is sacrosanct to us now.  We laugh, we talk, we give each other “compliments,” sometimes we’re snippy.  I have never been unclear about the fact that the three of you, you and your father, are my absolute priority in this world.  There’s something holy about the four of us being together, just us, and that’s always been how I feel.  In a very real way this time has been a tremendous gift to me, found time together, and I hope you have been reminded of how strong our bonds are and of how firmly you are supported here.  I know we are all sick of each other.  But we’re also so outrageously fortunate to have each other, and I hope that rises to the top of your memories from this time.

Do the right thing.  It hasn’t been easy, staying at home, but here we are.  Putting the greater good ahead of our individual needs is without question the right move (frankly, always) and in this case that’s what we’ve done.  I know it’s sometimes frustrating particularly because you see other people making different choices.  But that’s our family’s priority.  As things shift, so will our willingness to tolerate risk – that’s already beginning.  I know you’re excited. But it’s important to note that for the duration of the Stay at Home order that’s what we did.  Period. We aren’t above the rules, and neither are you.

As I’ve said a million times, how you act is more important than what you say.  That’s been clear in this pandemic.

Find something to laugh about.  The humor that has come up during this time has saved me, honestly.  I love the memes, the videos, the skits.  It is possible to find humor even in a dark situation, and to do it in a respectful way.  I firmly believe that.

Keep your loved ones close.  I think you’ve seen me connecting in a renewed way with those I love most. It has been very clarifying, actually, to see who I’m drawn to in this time.  It is possible to be in close touch with people even when you don’t see them every day. Make the effort. It’s worth it.

Pay attention. The world is so beautiful. I know you get sick of my rhapsodizing about the spring blossoms and the bird song, but I swear, there’s something so uplifting about going outside and witnessing it for yourself.  And yes, you can pull your mask down to smell the lilacs.

Do your work.  Dad and I are both still working.  Hard.  So are you both.  I’m proud to see how you have both engaged in this new model of education.  I know it’s not always comfortable, and it’s far from ideal, but you’ve both impressed me with your resilience and willingness to leap in.  Thank you.

I adore you both.  I hope you knew that before, and I really hope you know it now.