Leaf Jumping Just Might Save Us From 2020

This world is crazy. 2020 is insane. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.

We are all struggling. There are days that seem like they just cannot get any worse. I know we have all felt this way, especially lately. COVID. Derecho. Back to School. 2020 truly is the ultimate curse word. How does one stay positive when everything always seems so negative?!

Let’s look at our kids: they can find the joy in life even in our darkest moments.

Children can find joy in mud puddles, worms, fallen leaves, messy rooms – anything. It is truly miraculous and a skill we need to relearn as adults.

When Derecho hit my children were so scared during the storm, as I’m sure yours were too. Fear has a way of manifesting itself so differently between people. This was evident even between my two children. My six year old had a “tummy ache” and my four year old stared straight ahead in silence. As a parent, I struggled to watch their pain.

But, once it was all over and we had a moment to go out side and survey the damage, my children were most excited to go jumping in the leaves. They didn’t see the destruction; they saw the potential of how much fun they could have!

Leaf Jumping Just Might Save Us From 2020What a blessing, to find joy in moments of pain!

Finding happiness in damage. Can you imagine what life would be like if we could see the world through the eyes of a child? Yes, there would still be moments of fear, anger, and sadness, but there would also be moments filled with so much love, laughter, and joy.

My children have been lucky enough to be able to return to in-person schooling (while taking appropriate precautions of course). We wear masks. We wash our hands. We sanitize. We love our teachers and our school.

It was a difficult decision for us to send our kiddos back, like it is for every parent. No matter what we chose there would be someone who felt we chose wrong. But seeing our children’s faces as they tell us what they did at school that day and how much fun they had with their teachers and friends, even while social distancing, makes me feel so much better about our decision.

Our children feel some of the fear we felt while making the decision on how we wanted them to return to school this fall. My daughter is choosing to not ride the bus and we are fortunate to live only a block from her school and that I am working from home currently, so I am able to drop off and pick her up from school.

But now, I don’t hear the fear. I don’t see the worry that I saw in her eyes the first day of school. I see the joy and excitement she gets from being with her friends and learning new things at centers, the true joy that comes form learning.

We all know the saying “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get” (Forrest Gump).

This is especially true in today’s world of hurricanes, derechos, COVID, murder hornets, and whatever September will bring.

Let’s strive to look a life with the joy of young children and find our own ways to jump in the leaves.

My goal for September, and I invite you all to join me, is rather than finding the negative in our situations, finding the simple joys and pleasures. There is always good.

Look for the helpers.

Look for the blessings in disguise.

Look for the rainbow after the storm.

Look for the little joys.

Look for children jumping in leaves and don’t be afraid to go jump in a big pile yourself! Lord knows we have enough leaves for everyone to jump in!

September 2020, you cannot bring us down!

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Emily, a native Cedar Rapidian and Xavier graduate, has never strayed far from the Corridor. After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a dual-degree in economics and english, she and her husband decided to put down roots in Center Point with their beautiful children and dog, Copper. Emily enjoys wearing multiple hats- wife, mother, accountant, coach, and volunteer. She stays extremely active within her children’s lives from helping with homework to coaching little league and teaching religious education, she enjoys utilizing her talents to help her own children, as well as others, learn and grow. When taking a moment for herself Emily enjoys eating ice cream, going on walks, gardening, crafting, and binging her favorite TV shows.

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