Three years ago someone had the idea to put on their calendar to ask their kids what they remember about the Covid pandemic. Remember when we thought it was just going to be two weeks? Or a year into it and it was still so scary? We were so naive. Since we have a little distance from the height of it, I thought I would ask. I wasn’t expecting much from George. He was just two at the time it all started.
I remember nothing.
~George Bossenga age 5
McKenna has some scattered memories. She was 5 at the time. She remembers details of my pregnancy with Theo and my medical emergency during 2021–still during the pandemic.
We stopped going to Kindercare.
I had kindergarten computer school with Mrs. Grimes.
We wore a mask.
You asked me if I wanted to stay home or go to school wearing a mask and I said go to school.
The day you said I didn’t have to wear a mask to school anymore I was also thinking about palm trees.
When Theo was still in your belly, I was thinking he was like an Easter egg.
We took a lot of walks.
We got a bounce house.
We ate outside all the time.
We didn’t see anyone or go anywhere. Not even the pool.
I had a birthday parade.
Dad had a desk in the basement and your desk was behind the couch. That’s where Aunt Eve worked when you went to have Theo out.
We couldn’t see any friends.
I was worried we were going to miss Easter.
We got a babysitter to come to our house everyday. We would get library crafts and we would get McDonalds with her.
Mommy had a lot of kidney stones. And you had to go to the hospital for a long long time. (Spring 2021)
When Aunt Eve came over when you had Theo, we got Dominoes Pizza.
We couldn’t even see our family.
~McKenna Bossenga age 7
I remember being scared. I was pregnant and Aaron still had to go to the office. I remember worrying about the health of my yet-to-be-born baby. I was upset that the kids were going to be permanently damaged by the disruption to their childhood. *NOTE* They are fine. I remember feeling isolated. I remember being so proud of our medical community, first responders, essential workers, and educators. I remember making a really conscious effort to support local. I was so mad at Covid deniers and those who refused to wear a mask or vaccinate if they could. I remember gas being practically free but we had nowhere to go. Those early days were when my love of grocery pickup began. I remember our neighborhood being amazing. They organized shamrock hunts and window zoos and a socially distanced Easter bunny visit. I remember having to labor with Theo in a mask and not being allowed to have visitors at the hospital. I remember that it took literally years for some members of my family to meet him. I was sad that we couldn’t see great grandpa for so long because he didn’t even have FaceTime. I remember a Thanksgiving alone because of a common cold and a FaceTime Christmas. I learned that I need people and hugs and crave being around people. I remember being scared to reenter the world and forgetting how to “people”.
It all seems so long ago but just yesterday at the same time. We are all still wearing masks at the doctor’s office and in hospitals. It is more acceptable for you to stay home when sick rather than be a hero and power through it. We still work hard to support local. Remote learning is never going away…goodbye snow days.
We were lucky because we didn’t lose anyone to Covid. Yes. Many people we know got it and some continue to struggle through the after effects. We had it once ourselves. It is never going away but we are learning to live with it. Covid was and continues to be awful. But not everything that came from it was.
Capturing kids’ thoughts about moments in time is always so interesting (I love those Mothers’ Day fill-in-the-blanks about me, etc), and their perceptions of this time are particularly fascinating. I have an almost-8 and a 4 year old, so it’s really wild to see the difference between one who remembers what life was like before and one who really only knows this world as it is now. It was so neat to see what yours remember as well as what you remember, and to think about how many of us had such similar experiences all across the country and around the world. I often wonder what history books will someday say about this time.
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I wonder the same all the time? Will they gloss over it? Or will they tell what really happened?
McKenna has a very detailed memory. Many thoughts about all your family time, you did good.
A fascinating look at what your little ones remember about the pandemic. Three years is such a long time when they are only 5 and 7 now. I have a dinner table conversation for tonight’s dinner now. I am very curious what mine will say that he remembers and liked and regrets because he was 9 at the start.
It was a really good conversation. I was really shocked that McKenna remembered what she was thinking during very specific conversations.
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So interesting to see all these different thoughts about the pandemic. McKenna remembered so much.