As we were getting ready for bed last night, my youngest declared to my husband and me, “I am so excited for tomorrow!”
“You are? Why?” we answered in unison, shocked a bit since our days have been pretty mundane lately.
“Because I get to make my lunch for everyone.”
I had forgotten for a minute. I had forgotten how the simplest things can generate so much excitement in kids. I had forgotten what it felt like to look forward to something. Usually this time of year, as the weather gets warmer and the birds are chirping loudly equally excited for warmth of the sun, the weekends quickly fill up with gatherings and family and spring break and sporting events.
But all of that has come to a screeching halt.
With schools closed now and weekdays merging with weekends, the eager flutters floating around in my belly as weekend events get closer have been replaced with more of a dull, persistent every day worry. What if we get this virus? Are we healthy enough to be able to avoid the hospital? Will there even be enough ventilators if we need one? Should I go get Tylenol instead of Ibuprofen? (I did do that actually.) Are schools going to be shut down indefinitely? What will that mean exactly? Will we be able to have a normal summer?
There’s just so much more to be anxious about than there is to be excited about right now. It is easy to get sucked into the gloom and doom and despair of all of this.
On Friday, I told each of my boys and my husband that they were in charge of one meal next week. They had to plan it out and prepare it with me as their sous-chef. My youngest chose macaroni and cheese, carrots, with Oreos as dessert. He kept asking when he was going to be able to make his meal all weekend, probably just so he could eat the Oreos, but still.
On Sunday evening, when my son announced to us how much he was looking forward to the next day, his excitement bubbling over, it was a reminder. He has the right idea. We must find something to look forward to. Something to get excited about, something to bring us joy. Now more than ever, we need to be like Dominic, seeking out something as simple as making a macaroni and cheese meal to look forward to. Otherwise, we we may get too focused on just how uncertain our future is right now.
After sharing in the delight of kid-chosen and prepared meals today as a family, mac n cheese for lunch and cheeseburgers for dinner, my oldest voiced his anticipation for his upcoming meal this week, shrimp Alfredo. So, this week, we are looking forward to our meals, next week we will find something else . . . like maybe a variety of desserts.