VALLEY MOM: Kids with questions, cancelled vacations and adjusting to a new reality

There have been a lot of changes to keep up with during the past few weeks with arrival of COVID-19

By Kristyl Clark/Special to Black Press

The world looked a lot different just a month ago.

My husband and I were in countdown mode for our second honeymoon. Bring on Costa Rica’s sandy beaches and carefree childless days in the sunshine.

As for the kids, our two girls were eager to perform the dance routines they’d rehearsed all year. Life was normal(ish). Our family calendar was packed with parties, playdates, trips to the dentist, etc.

While there was some murmuring about a virus ravaging a city in China, we were far enough away to be safe. Or so we thought.

Those were the good old days. *Sigh*

First came the memes (I shared a few myself), then came the “toilet-roll-aggedon,” followed by the most commonly used buzzword of 2020 — social distancing.

Way back then, we didn’t realize how much our routines were about to change — indefinitely.

Like some apocalyptic Hollywood movie, borders have been shut down, flights cancelled, nuptials postponed, schools closed, lives put on hold, and dreams shattered.

Instead of toasting 15 years of marriage on a tropical beach, Jason and I are self-isolating in a cramped townhouse with two dogs, a gecko, a hamster, and two squirrelly kids.

The last pair can’t seem to comprehend why they shouldn’t put their fingers, remote control — or anything at all for that matter— in their mouths.

Hands are red and raw; little ones are wondering when they can see their friends again, and playgrounds are desolate.

My inbox keeps pinging with the announcement of another small business closing up shop.

Despite the lack of personal space and a dark cloud of uncertainty that looms overhead, we are the lucky ones. *Knock on wood*

Of all the changes, it was the school closure that hit our older daughter the hardest.

“Mom, it’s not fair!” said Molly, 10, after hearing Trudeau’s big announcement.

“I’m still learning long division and my song for choir. What about my friends and teachers – will I ever get to see them again?”

PAST COLUMN – Valley Mom: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

I generally pride myself on being able to come up with an answer on the spot, but lately I’ve been a loss for words.

This stuff wasn’t in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

At first, playgrounds were deemed safe, so off we went to the local park for a picnic. I brought along our last bottle of hand sanitizer and warned them not to put their hands anywhere near their faces or to play with any of the kids there.

A group of children started to head our way, and it felt like a scene out of The Walking Dead.

“Come on, girls, let’s go. NOW!” I said, hastily packing up our half-eaten lunch.

I’d gone from being this carefree anti-helicopter parent to an anxiety-ridden militant Mommy Dearest in a matter of days.

We’re OK with our cancelled trip, but constantly worry about the kids.

Will they be OK? Will I actually have to teach long-division and fractions? God help them both.

The house was quiet for a good 45 minutes before I dared creep upstairs. I fully expected them to be immersed with some game on their pads, as per usual.

What I saw brought tears to my eyes – happy ones.

LANGLEY-RELATED BLOG POST: Zealous Art Offers Free Family Painting Parties

“Do you like it?” asked Zoe, eight, who was clipping scraps of paper and gluing them to a poster board.

They were making a collage of inspirational quotes.

Both were smiling dimple-to-dimple as the sunshine spilled onto the carpet, illuminating positive messages like, “It’s all going to be okay” and “Why be anyone else when you can just be yourself!”

Guess they’re not as traumatized as I thought.

In a matter of seconds, this Valley mom went from feeling powerless to proud.

Everything can change in an instant, even from bad to good.

In the meantime, parents, we’re all in this together — from a safe social distance.

– Kristyl Clark is a former Black Press Media reporter and contributor, and the founder of the award-winning family blog ValleyMom.ca. Follow her on Facebook @ValleyMom.ca and Instagram at @ValleyMom.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One person treated for smoke inhalation after Langley fire

Township firefighters were called to Deer Creek Estates Wednesday night

Tree protection advisory committee members appointed in Langley Township

Volunteers will provide guidance on protection, preservation, and planting of trees in township

Eric Woodward Foundation takes over management of Fort Langley Cranberry Festival

Annual Thanksgiving event was cancelled for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

VIDEO: Fall storm hits Langley, leaves hundreds without power

Risk of thunderstorm remain in Thursday forecast

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Abbotsford veteran survives cancer scare, celebrates 95th birthday

Second World War veteran Andy Anderson receives socially distanced birthday party after health scare

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read