One of many lessons from the pandemic is that grandparents can be remarkably creative and persistent when it comes to keeping in touch with their grandchildren. Now that we are going through another month of our new normal, some of us are feeling COVID fatigue. We wonder how long we can still enjoy Zoom visits and what could replace bike rides and hikes when the days are cold, short and dark. So here’s a thought: Grandparents can now give a true gift that will last for years by signing up as pandemic reminder records.
“How could we possibly forget this time?” you could ask The reality is that our younger grandchildren – the toddlers and preschoolers – will forget that they were wearing masks, that people had to stay far apart, that much of the world around them changed almost overnight. Our older grandchildren – those in elementary school and early teens – will remember more, but their memories will inevitably fade and blur. How significant it could be for her to look back one day and remember the experience, not through history books but through her grandparents’ personal writings or records.
How to start writing memories
Where should I start? This is a project you may do alone or with a grandchild depending on the age of the child. While every experience is different, one goal is to get personal details and perspectives of a global event. I hope the following questions build a framework for your writing.
What do you remember when the COVID-19 pandemic started? I think many of us can remember the day – maybe even the moment – when we realized that our lives were on the verge of seismic change. Where were you? What did you do? When did everything feel real to you and what steps did you take to prepare?
What were the first changes you and your family saw in the pandemic? Did you or a family member switch from work to work at home immediately? Has anyone in your family continued to go out to work? Did you use public transport – and if not, when did you stop? Did the school close immediately? Have you stocked up on beans and toilet paper? What else did you or your family buy? Have you scrubbed your groceries and treated your mail like contraband?
How have things changed for you, your family, and your community over time? Did you start walking with friends three feet apart? Have you worried less about touching your food than about wearing a mask in public or around others? Did you get mad at people who didn’t wear masks or those who did? How creative was it for you to find a place to pee when it seemed too risky to venture into a public toilet?
What were the hardest parts of the pandemic for you and your family? Has the pandemic brought financial worries and other concerns? Did your home feel crowded when you were all vying for computer time and WiFi? Have you got annoyed by the people you love most because you weren’t used to being with them that often? And what have you missed the most: going out for a meal, having dinner with friends or the extended family, enjoying coffee with a friend? If you travel a lot – for family visits, work, or adventure – what was it like to suddenly be grounded? And when did it first feel safe to get on a plane or take a long-distance journey?
What did you like about the pandemic? As difficult as the pandemic was for almost everyone, there can be aspects that you have to enjoy and appreciate: Maybe you don’t have to dress up, have a more flexible work schedule, feel less “should” in life and enjoy the freedom to just be like that to do about it. Some of us have reconnected with old friends in deeply meaningful ways. We finally had time to tidy up the closets, organize the photos, learn new skills, and pursue interests that have long been on the to-do list.
What did you learn from the pandemic? Has there been a shift in your values and / or priorities? Do you have a new perspective on what really makes you happy or satisfied? Did the pandemic cause you to consider important changes such as: B. a new career, move, or a change in a relationship? Has it given you a new perspective on health and done everything possible to maintain it?
Turn to hope
The pandemic has stressed and strained us all and continues to do so. We all live with enormous uncertainty. Despite these challenges, many grandparents hope that one day this will be behind us. We remain optimistic that our grandchildren will reach adulthood in a world where people hug, enjoy the intimacy of a dinner, or the joy of sitting at a noisy, crowded family table enjoying a holiday dinner. I hope that when you do decide to be your family writer, you can keep these hopeful images in mind and imagine that one day your grandchildren will look back in gratitude for your efforts and amazement at what we have all endured.