Over the years, my family has built a village of support for our children of wonderful teachers, coaches, babysitters, neighbors, and friends who supported our entire family every week. One of the most significant losses we feel during this time of isolation is the loss of this community. 

We can recreate some of the learning at home through virtual classes, but it does not take the place of my children seeing their amazing teachers every day. Their school is filled with adults who were influential in their lives, from the classroom teachers, art teachers, principals, and lunch assistants. All are adults who listened to and helped my children daily. 

We are also missing all the extracurricular teachers and coaches in our lives. I can play soccer with my son in the yard, but I am no match for the fun and energetic coach he used to look forward to seeing every Saturday morning. And our backyard experiments are no match for an afterschool science program that was fun, informative, and filled with friends. 

We also had a large group of neighbors who helped share the burden of parenting while also providing our kids with unstructured time with peers. Neighbors who would pick up my kids from the bus when I had a late meeting, or take turns hosting Saturday afternoon playdates to give each other a break. All of that is missing now. 

Erika’s Lighthouse talks about the importance of teens having trusted adults they feel comfortable going to with their feelings and problems. And I have found this is true for my younger children as well. Sheltering in place has made it so that my husband and I are the only adults my children see and talk to, and it is a lot of pressure on us all.

For the time being, we are just thankful for the jobs that we still have and can do remotely, for our health, and for our safety. I know how lucky we are. But I am looking forward to a time when we can venture out and have the support of our village again.

Author: Meade Means, Development and Operations Assistant