The year of 2020 will forever be a stand out year that we remember for years to come. Our kids will remember how schools closed, activities were canceled, travel stopped, and even time with extended family came to an abrupt halt. I am a mom who generally likes to point my kids toward all the good things in every situation. During our weeks at home, I would often remind them of how lucky they were to have a nice home, plenty of food, a yard to play in, and plenty of siblings to keep them entertained during the shut down of 2020.
All of these positives I pointed out to my children were true. But there was also loss. As the year came to a close, I realized that I should have allowed my kids to acknowledge the loss. To hold the good and the bad together because they both existed. The boys baseball season was canceled, weeks passed without hugs from their Grammy, there were no end-of-the-year school parties, no playdates with friends, no summer adventures. They lost months of schooling, they never got to say good bye to their teachers, their classmates. They lost those experiences.
2020 also brought us a new baby brother. My big kids counted down the days until they could come see our surprise baby on the ultrasound and find out if the baby was a brother or sister. That never happened; they were not allowed in the doctor’s office. I FaceTimed them and held the phone up to the sonogram screen. They were excited, but it wasn’t the way it should have been, and they felt the difference.
I thought for sure that when their new brother would be born in September, things would be normal again . . . but they were not. No siblings allowed at the hospital. They had to wait to meet their new brother days after his birth when we came home from the hospital. The fresh intimacy of welcoming a brand new baby was something they wanted to share with us. They wanted to meet him after he entered the world. Instead, they saw him through FaceTime. I wanted them in there, to see them hold him and welcome him. No amount of technology can make up for the loss of that intimate moment.
So I have decided to let in the loss. To allow us to all see what was lost, to hold it close so that we can also let it go. I want them to know that it is not a loss we can change or control. That life is full of both love and loss.