Let me tell you a story about this.

Charlie, like a lot of 6-year-olds right now, spends a lot of time on screens. YouTube and games on iPads, old phones, busted Kindles, and streaming TV.

I worry about this. But I’m self-aware enough to know without screens, I have **no flippin’ idea** how I’d homeschool or do my full-time job from home, without them, for almost an entire year.

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He’s a kiddo who despite being a month shy of turning 7, still has a baby face, tiny voice, and little dimples on the tops of his hands. He’s only ever been to a couple years of preschool a couple days a week, and had just over 100 days as a kindergartner when the pandemic hit.
He’s still sore about having missed his first “school birthday” (the last day of school BC [before COVID] was March 13. His birthday is the 15th, and his teacher had his birthday crown ready for the following Monday that never/still hasn’t happened.
In the absence of friends, play dates, school away-from-home, I’ve seen this beauty’s creativity bubble up. A lot of what he’s been watching on all those screens are maker videos; people making different characters out of clay, and drawing tutorials and time lapses.

Credit: Val Townsend

He showed me this the other day and I tried my best to hold it together — it’s not my news to share, but we’re going through some tough stuff right now as a family. Kiddo is usually hard at work sculpting scary monsters (hey, we all have our thing), but this was decidedly different.

“It’s Heaven,” he said.

“There’s the world,” he said, pointing at the penny used for the base of his sculpture.
“These are the clouds and the man on top is God.”
“See? He’s watching everyone.”

Lesson: The pandemic has isolated us in so many ways on so many levels. The losses are numerous and for a lot of us, devastating. As we come up on a year of COVID, let’s be less worried about if we’re doing this right, and remember even when you are alone — you really aren’t.

 

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