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[caption id="attachment_171238" align="aligncenter" width="1180"]"In These Walls" by Cassie Everts (CatholicMom.com) Image by Kelly Sikkema (2020), Unsplash.com, CC0/PD[/caption]

If your kids are like mine, they are definitely having their days of getting stir crazy from all of this quarantining. Let’s be honest: How many days of rain can we take in a row before we feel like we are living in confinement? Last week it was three, before I threw up the white flag of surrender and interrupted our school day with an afternoon drive. Nowhere in particular to go, just needing to get out of the house and have a change of view.

These days are certainly challenging, an incredibly unique time we are living in, a time that requires the most of us. Even though we have been doing this for seven weeks now, I still have my moments. My days when I wonder how I can do this for another five weeks, let alone the idea that we may have to do this again come fall. This uncharted territory is hard; the struggle is real. Something our motherhood has never faced before.

It’s okay to find this difficult. Sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster, days when I say to myself, “I got this” and other days where I am floundering as all five of my children call for my attention at the exact same time. Inevitably, someone is left in tears of frustration as they take a number waiting for my attention.

There are some who are finding much more time on their hands to pick up an extra hobby, redecorate their house, cook gourmet meals, or write their memoir. Unfortunately, I don’t fall in that camp and some of you may not either, and that’s okay. Some days teaching my fourth-grader long division or my 4-year-old how to write her letters are my greatest accomplishment.

As I write this it’s approaching midnight and I am awake with a nocturnal 6-month-old. My 4-year-old just woke up and walked in my room halfway asleep, and said, “Why is there craziness in this house?” Oh, how those subconscious words speak so much truth! I have to laugh out loud, because there are days I ask myself that exact same question.

Still amidst the craziness, the abrupt ending to seeing classmates, the grief of longing to be with our families and have all of this be over, there is a stillness about this time. While our school days are definitely anything but still, there are moments when I can feel the peace transcend the insanity of trying to do it all. When we asked the children last weekend how everything was going with the new school structure, being at home,and so on, their answers surprised us and gave me a sense of reassurance that we were all doing okay.

[tweet "While it may seem absurd, it is this slower pace of life that I want my children to relish."]

My hope is that this is a time that my children look back at and miss. While that may seem absurd, it is this slower pace of life that I want them to relish. Without the practices, tournaments, having to eat dinner in different shifts, unnecessary errands to run, we can fill the void with carefree timelessness. Activities as a family that we normally wouldn’t have time for, afternoon read aloud, Friday movie nights, Saturday campfires, long bike rides with moments to discover nature and endless hours of play in the backyard.

This time, these moments, in these walls, memories are being made. In these walls our family is being strengthened, even on the difficult days. It is in these walls that we are drawing closer to Christ, having to be intentional with prayer rather than just showing up for Mass and waiting for it to happen. In these walls we see each person’s brokenness, including our own weaknesses, but also God’s unending mercy and surpassing love pouring forth. In these walls we find moments of grace as our children’s simple faith teaches us the most profound lessons far beyond any classroom could instill.

We don’t know what the future will bring or when life will return to normal. The uncertainty of when we can see our loved ones again or whether or not the virus will strike our family can simply leave us unraveled at times. In all the craziness we have to remind ourselves that in these moments God has given us the grace. I have heard it said more than once, that we were made for this moment. And I think there is strength, peace and hope in that. In all of history God ordained us to be here on earth for such a time as this.

As to the past, let us entrust it to God's mercy, the future to divine Providence. Our task is to live holy the present moment. (St. Gianna Molla; emphasis mine)

Copyright 2020 Cassie Everts