Before COVID-19 crisis arises, my family members are all leading their own separate lives. We are busy with our own commitments and lifestyle activities with our own network of friends and are usually not at home. We are living like tenants under the same roof, having meals together at times, but minimal conversations. Though there is no bad blood among my parents and siblings and we are a peace loving family, we do not have deep conversations and none of us make plans for family activities, think it is human nature that family is always there for you, no matter what.
Due to this COVID-19 crisis, our family members need to stay at home and during this period. To tide over this difficult period and ensure that we stay motivated and positive as a family, my parents have come up with a schedule to allocate the housework and cooking duties. This is a great way to ensure that we do not while away our time and feel a sense of fulfilment that we are doing something productive at home. My siblings have come up with family events and games to keep us entertained as a whole. We have movie marathon, play card games and so on.
These activities made me realised that my family, whom I do not think was as essential as I thought, has become an essential part of my life. I also debunk a myth that activities with friends are more fun and cooler than family members. I had an awesome time cooking meal with my family members and had fun and hilarious time playing the family games. Such time spent strengthened our family ties and we still maintain the space that we need. In fact, I have appreciated the importance of having a family as my support system and enjoy the numerous benefits of having this important support system, which is extremely critical during current times, when we are exposed to so much negativity due to the daily sombre news.
This realisation is even greater when we plan for my dad’s birthday. Our siblings use the birthday event as THE SIBLINGS project, which we prepared in a few weeks. As part of the preparation, we surfed through the website to get 60 year old birthday party ideas and had numerous discussions to shortlist the birthday theme which our dad will love. We had a ball of time during these discussions and at times, digress to having deeper conversations among siblings, which at times, are touching moments as we reminisce our childhood memories when we were so close then, as we only have one another then. This is also a grim reminder that we have drifted apart as we grow older, due to the distractions from the outside world. Though none of us voice it out, inside us, we have vowed to go back to the times, when our sibling’s bonds are very strong.
We ensure all the details of the party are attended to, from the choice of theme, finalisation of guest list (we will invite them to a zoom birthday party, singing birthday songs and sending birthday wishes to my dad from their homes), preparing a sumptuous spread and coming up with games relevant to the theme. My dad was delighted by the birthday party that we have planned for him, in the comfort of our house filled with love.
After this 60-year-old birthday party, my siblings are finding other family projects to plan and we will include our parents this time round.