• Jody Kussin

In Times Like These #5 3-19-2020

Do you know that song – by Julie Gold – From a Distance….?

Well, since you have some free time, check it out

I’m not going to write it all out here. Well, never mind, I WILL write it out. It’s a beautiful song and timely for all sorts of reasons. But for the purposes of my missive today, let’s take the refrain “God is watching us” and change it to ‘OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING US.’ More than ever, with all this togetherness, our kids are watching us.

From a distance the world looks blue and green

And the snow capped mountains white From a distance the ocean meets the stream

And the eagle takes to flight

From a distance there is harmony

And it echoes through the land It's the voice of hope It's the voice of peace It's the voice of every man

From a distance we all have enough And no one is in need And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease No hungry mouths to feed

From a distance we are instruments Marching in a common band Playing songs of hope Playing songs of peace They are the songs of every man

God is watching us God is watching us God is watching us from a distance

Yes, our kids are watching us. They are watching how we treat others, from nannies and housekeepers and gardeners and neighbors to cashiers and grandparents and pets. They are watching to see if we can protect without smothering (i.e., how many carts have you filled up at Costco and how many do you really need?) and they are watching your interactions with your co-parent/partner/spouse. Also, they are listening to everything. There really are no secrets in your house right now, so be especially conscientious about exposure (from you, from Rachel Maddow) to the children and teens. They do not need hourly updates from CDC or WHO or the President or Governor or Mayor. We can let them know what they need to know: they are safe, you can handle this, we are in it together, they are loved, and we are all doing our best.

It’s good to keep repeating that we are all doing our best. Across our life span, there are two things we need to have or do to be able to grow and evolve and develop or deepen our sense of self. Only two things to continually contribute to our ability to do our best:

  1. We need to have a sense of being valued, loved, appreciated, heard. All of us. So make sure your children know that and feel it and ALSO, make sure you take it in from others. Expand your world from your den to reach out to old friends from camp and cousins with whom you have not spoken in years. Fill up your well with lots of loving folk and nicely distance yourself from those who are toxic. You can do it for you, model it for your children, and help them do it as well.

  2. We need to continually work on mastering things. All of us, not just our children. So in this new era, in times like these, we have more opportunity for mastery experiences than we’d ever anticipated. You are fast mastering the internet and on-line shopping and skooology or moodle or whatever those things are called. Soon you’ll have down 4th grade math even. Really! Don’t sell yourself short. You can master things, demonstrate it for the kids, and then also help them master things.

There are many lists being shared with ‘things to do’ and ‘links and apps’ and it is amazing, this thing called the world wide web. Try to not to feel overloaded. Save them in a file somewhere. For right now, we are at the very beginning. Think “Gilligan” and the ‘three hour tour’ and the first week on the island….(and if you’re too young for that reference, one bonus is you are not an at risk older adult!) Pace yourself. There is wisdom for the motto ONE DAY AT A TIME.

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