Quarantine in the Eyes of a Child

I sit here, and I look at you. My mind is filled with fear at times. I try to flush it out through prayer, scripture reading, knowledge, talking to others, writing. 

I try to watch mindless television because sometimes it’s all just too much. I lay my head down at night, but in the morning, it’s still there. The raw emotion of an actual global pandemic. All over the news. Inundating our world, our country, our cities, our workplaces, our homes. 

Your little brains don’t know how to comprehend what’s going on. But I know you feel it. We’ve been at home for nine weeks now. You never got a proper goodbye hug from your teachers at daycare. Every day is pretty much the same—wake up, eat, play, watch shows/movies, play, eat, nap, play, eat, bath, sleep. It has to be hard for you to have big emotions with no real context for processing them. I’m trying to help you, I promise. These are hard times for all of us, so I know you can sense that even I, at times, don’t know what the future will hold. 

When I lose my patience, because I often do, I try to remember that you are experiencing a global pandemic, too. You just don’t know how to articulate your feelings. So fits of crying and attention-getting behavior is all you know how to do. You’re reaching for safety. You only know how to attempt to get what you need through big, big emotions. And you have some very big ones! Your desire to feel in control, safe, and loved throughout this hard time are waters that haven’t been navigated before. And I want you to know that I’m trying to help you. 

I’ll always remember, you were five, three, and three. You may not remember this time, but I’m pretty sure you will remember something. I hope you remember the good times—long snuggles, baking, helping to water flowers, games we made up, extra long naps, no fuss mornings where we didn’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, trying to “catch” the birds outside, watching church at home, and movies we watched with popcorn and warm blankets! You watch me as I do my workouts, and you imitate me. You are watching. 

I get lost in the moment sometimes, which is truly a gift from above. I get to see how much you’re learning, growing, and developing. I get to spend the extra time talking to you instead of feeling rushed. I get to encourage you and support you through the fits even if they are maddening sometimes. You’re all learning how to become people. Usually, I am so busy working and juggling everyone’s schedules I DREAM of days off just to be with you. Now I’ve received that gift. We all have. The gift of time. 

Although these days have felt long at times, this time is truly flying. I am thankful for the extra time I have with you. I am thankful I’m not alone in this. I am confident that things will get better. We will see better days. But for now, it is my job to protect you. 

What is it that you see? What is it that you feel? What will you actually remember?

I hope you remember more of the good times. I’ll catch you up on the other stuff when you’re older. For now, I want you to know for the rest of your life that everything you need is inside of you. And I’ll be here to help you navigate it. I’ll always be.

Kelly Burnison
Kelly is a wife, teacher, and mom of three. She has a very active 5 year old son, Banks, and 3 year old twin girls, Kate and Hayden. Originally a Wichita, KS native, she moved to Kansas City in 2010. After marrying her husband, Shaun, in 2013, they wasted no time starting a family. Having three kids in 2 years takes quite the amount of patience and task mastering. In between picking up toys, chasing monsters, playing in the dirt, potty training, singing songs and fixing meals that her kids don't eat, she loves exercising, coffee dates, wine, and binge watching the latest TV drama series. The busy-ness of life is what keeps her going, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. When life calms down and a date night ensues, Kelly and Shaun enjoy trying new restaurants in the KC area! 


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