April 16th, 2020 — Are y’all as over the word “unprecedented” as I am? Why that word has gotten on my nerves, I’m not sure. But I am afraid it’s going to become the next “awesome”…a powerful word that has been eroded. The word AWESOME itself truly encompasses its own meaning: “causing or inspiring of awe,” but sadly, it’s been as overused as the song “YMCA” by the Village People or “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black-Eyed Peas.
I’m not saying we aren’t experiencing “unprecedented” times, because we certainly are. For sure. But it’s such a heavy, loaded word that it tends to paralyze us into a fear state and therefore, we can’t imagine pivoting our lives into something new and manageable in these UNPRECEDENTED times. Maybe it’s just me, but I think, actually, I KNOW, that reformulating and establishing your life into this New Normal is the only way through it.
And, more importantly, if you’re sitting there holding your breath, waiting for things to “return to Normal”, you’re going to be sadly mistaken and also holding yourself back from an opportunity to reformulate. There are innumerable gifts to be had here, but you have to uncover them yourself. No one will do it for you. Now is the time. Baby steps.
I have a niece and nephew in Raleigh, NC, who are the apples of my eye and it kills me to not be able to see them. I was going to see them TWICE over the course of March and April, but alas, neither trip happened, of course. To stay connected, we FaceTime of course, and I send them things, but I had an idea yesterday for something a little more special.
I emailed my brother and sister-in-law asking if I could read a story to them before bedtime, crossing my fingers that we could make that work somehow. It dawned on me that if I had one of the same books that THEY had, it would work so much better. So we texted about what time would work and then settled on the book.
Lemme tell you how excited I was for this! I looked forward to it all day.
When it was time, we FaceTimed and there they were, all clean, toothbrushed, and in their adorable jammies. (LOVE LOVE LOVE kiddos in jammie jams!) My 6 year old nephew is a FaceTime pro and was so excited to see me: “Titi Ryan!!!” (“Auntie” in Spanish”… My awesome sister-in-law is from Puerto Rico)
We opened our books and I began reading, voices and all, of course. When it was time to turn the page, I made a solid “DING” sound, harking back to when we would listen to recordings of books in school while holding the copy of the book. Then the best thing EVER happened.
He just giggled his little head off. Every time I sounded the “ding” to turn the page, he giggled! The best part was that he said, “I’m tryyyyyinnnng not to laugh!” and of course, that ensured we both laughed more. (I’m smiling as I write this!!!)
It was the absolute BEST. My heart was so full!!!! You might be wondering where my niece was the whole time? Well, she is 2 1/2, so it didn’t hold her attention, but the 6YO was all in! Her mom kept tabs on her in the background.
I know I keep charging you with these tasks like, write a letter to someone, and take time for yourself, etc, but this one is a must, if you have the option. Read a book to a kid. And feel the love!