In 2020, we faced challenges unlike other years. In our family and community, we learned to do things differently (sometimes in silly ways).
In February, before the world lost its mind, my sister and nephew came for my birthday. I haven’t seen them in person since, because Seattle is far away and in many ways a different world than the panhandle of Texas. Still, it was a great surprise!
While my sister was visiting, my son’s orthodontic care progressed to Phase 2: Braces. Toward the end of the year, my daughter completed her Phase 1: no more expanders, just a retainer at night. We didn’t do a lot of traveling or visiting family this year, due to various restrictions, financial constraints, and concern for others. In November, we did venture to my parents’ house and shared a wonderful Thanksgiving for six. Much lower key than in past years, but worth every mile.
While we were visiting for Thanksgiving, we were honored to help pass out food with my parents’ congregation. The kids love serving others and I love seeing their deep love and empathy in action.
My son started piano lessons, which were derailed temporarily (our piano teacher is a heart transplant recipient and has strict health needs) and my daughter started ballet. Watching the children learn their talents and seeing the joy as they learn new things is amazing. We also worked together on a family garden. My son went fishing for the first time and my daughter taught me once again that a box can be so much more than one thing.
Our playpark has seen all kinds of weather this year. While living in Germany, we learned a saying (that actually is Norwegian), “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” We have lived that out in 2020. The kids have enjoyed the sunshine, splashed in puddles, and played in the snow. They’ve created games, fought epic battles, and overcome fears.
The most important lessons, however, are ongoing. Be kind, love one another, give more than you take, and be a light. My children are my talents, I teach them bravely and boldly. I want them to be the greatest waves I make.