An Open Letter To Parents, Staying–Not “Stuck”–At Home

Someone I have known and cherished for 33 years wrote something simple and powerful.

She’s a mom raising a house full of young men who are spirited and special, like her.

And like many of us, they are “sheltering in place” or whatever you choose to call it these days.

What’s she’s not is “stuck at home”.

She writes:

“I’ve been thinking a lot these past two weeks (haven’t we all). I’m a word nerd and I’ve been thinking about how the words we choose affect how we think about this situation and in turn how we act. The words we choose also influence how our kids feel about the situation.

“I see people saying they are “stuck” at home with their kids but I don’t think that’s a word we should use. Stuck is negative. You get stuck in traffic. (making you late to get home which is really where you want to be – see where I’m headed?)

“We’re not in quarantine either. Quarantine is for those who are ill. Most of us are not ill nor do we have concerns about exposure. People in quarantine don’t go out to buy groceries.

“We are choosing to stay home. We are choosing to self-isolate. We are choosing to limit our time away from our homes. We make this choice because it is the responsible choice to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and neighbors and our community.

“I’m not “stuck” with my kids; nor are they “stuck” with me. We’ve been in the house together for two full weeks Do we get on one another’s nerves now and then? Of course we do.

“But I share my closest bond on the planet with these people. These wonderful young men who we brought into the world. Who make me laugh and cry and laugh until I cry. In any emergency these are the guys who’ve got my back from now until the end of time. And they know I’ve always had their backs from before they inhaled their very first breaths. So, no, we’re not “stuck;” we’re together and safe. We offer love and comfort for one another in a sea of uncertainty and anxiety.

“Please think about the words you use to describe this time in our lives because none of us will ever forget these weeks. And tell your kids – especially the adult-ish ones who may be practicing extreme self-isolation as far away from you as they can get – that you’re glad you’re getting through this together.”

She always did have a way with words.

I couldn’t have said it as well.

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