One of my most fond memories as a kid was the winter of 1978 when we had such a huge snow storm that the entire county where I lived was on lockdown. Yes, we played games by lamplight and played cards, but one of my most fond memories was gathering around the table to eat in a way that we hadn’t done before. My mom was great at preparing for storms. She was a child of the depression so she knew what it was like to do without. She was also one of 12 children so she had learned early on how to make things stretch for a lot of mouths.
The electricity was out so we were relying on a wood stove to keep us warm and the table was right near the stove so we spent a lot of the time gathered around it. But this night my mom had created a spread with deviled ham, pepperoni and salami and crackers and cheese. She cut it all up into tiny pieces and because it was finger food we ate slowly and talked in the flickering lamp light. I have no memory of being scared.
My parents stayed calm, which looking back on it now must has been hard. I never felt scared because my parents talked to me. They told me stories about what life was like when they were kids. They told me about my grandparents and what it was like for my mom to have to walk to school and how they met right before my dad went into the army. They told me about things that happened in their lives before I was born and when they were kids my age. It kept me from being afraid, but more than that, it helped me to bond with my parents in a way I seldom did since I was self-absorbed like most kids.
Society is so fast paced now. Kids have so many sports and groups and go go go all the time. With society as we know it presently on lockdown, it is the perfect time to talk to your kids. Really have a conversation. Instead of them being stuck to their phones or computers, and you being on your tablets or binge watching tv, take some time each day to turn off all electronics. Talk to your kids, tell them about when you were children. Tell them memories of your parents and grandparents. I still remember how my parents laughed and made me laugh about stories that happened when they were young. We don’t talk to each other enough anymore. We don’t share memories the way we once did. Call your parents and put them on speaker phone and ask them to tell your kids a story from when your parents were young. If you don’t have kids, call your parents anyway and ask them to tell you stories from when they were young.
When was the last time you did that anyway?