Finding Family Amid Global Emergency

To cope with our new normal, we're focusing on huddling together.

By fizkes/Shutterstock
By fizkes/Shutterstock

Being at war with a virus is important work. Hard work. It conjures a growing uncertainty and worry for my community that feels suffocating at times. But instead of letting the fear and dread get the best of me and my immune system, I’ve decided to spend more time with my family while we are quarantined under one roof.

Time is a gift. In my pre-COVID-19 life, my household was extremely structured. Despite our exhaustion, my husband and I had mastered life with two businesses and two sons in year-round competitive sports. Together, we worked impeccably as a team. We were Team Productivity. Sure, we were mindful each day to wind down as a family. But we had to schedule our family time into a jam-packed structure. Now, we are sprinkling structure here and there to a veritable windfall of togetherness.

It seems like only yesterday — because it was practically yesterday — I was working overtime to juggle the logistics of our upcoming spring break: completing my own work, going on the road for my son’s hockey playoff tournament, sending our beloved Annie to the dog-sitter’s, and jetting off to California for some R and R with family and friends.

Only… it wouldn’t be R and R. We’d fill our days with hiking, golfing, running, biking, and swimming, all before 2 p.m. each day. And we would return home to tackle my kids’ baseball season and the resumption of our overflowing lives.

And I’d find myself wishing, at the end of a long day, for more time. Unstructured time. The mysterious and ever-elusive Quality Time, when we could just be together.

Now, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, quarantined together. We have nowhere to be and nothing to do, other than stay healthy and keep our distance to safeguard our global community and slow the speed of this pandemic.

So how are we are going to make the most of our time together? For starters, my kids are going to teach me how to play Fortnite.

You heard me right: Fortnite, and all the other video games my pre-COVID-19 self would strictly limit and claim were a waste of precious time. I’m going to learn what they’re all about from my sons’ perspective. (I’ll tell you all about it when I learn how to steer my player anywhere but into the wall.) My kids are thrilled I’ve shown an interest, and they are keen and patient teachers.

I’m going to teach them some basic life skills, like cooking. We will cook dinner together as a family. Heck, maybe they will cook dinner for our family. My husband will teach my sons to iron their shirts. I’m going to teach them to sew on a button. Last night in our backyard, my family taught me how to play a basketball game called Bump. My sons were surprised their dear old mom could actually dunk the ball.

We are going to use this time to learn from each other, see each other, and actually be present together. I’m looking forward to all of it.

When I reframe this scary time as a time of pause to be with my family, it softens the edge of uncertainty and fear. It’s a time to huddle under one roof to keep our global community safe. I remind myself that there are many others lying in hospital beds right now, wishing more than anything for just a little more time to simply be with their families and loved ones. I’m going to embrace my time like I’ve never embraced before.

Before long, we will be able to stretch our legs again. We will get to see each other through post-COVID-19 eyes and hearts.

For now, we huddle.

Wishing you and yours much love and good health.

Article originally published on

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