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[caption id="attachment_172251" align="aligncenter" width="1018"]"The brave boys" by Laura Torres (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2020 Laura Torres. All rights reserved.[/caption]

This morning, like every morning, my boys woke me up much earlier than I would have preferred. These days it is usually a little foot (or two) pushing into my ribs that act as my alarm clock. The boys climbed into my bed at some ungodly hour under the cover of darkness, skillfully sidestepping the strewn about legos, Hot Wheels, and train tracks in their memorized path.

As soon as the first sliver of hazy sunlight sneaks through the blinds in our bedroom, it is officially “wake-up time”.  I reluctantly will myself out of our woefully neglected bed, and follow them down the hall clumsily stumbling over legos, Hot Wheels, and train tracks.

I make them breakfast, make our coffee, and feed the baby.

In the past this would have been followed by a rush to get my boys dressed, making and packing lunches, and filling backpacks.

But these days it is followed by something much stranger.

I open up my computer and join a regularly scheduled Zoom meeting. My screen is instantly covered with little rectangles, each one containing a tiny smiling face enthusiastically greeting each new member that signs on. It is not forced or faux enthusiasm, as what might be expected if this was a Zoom meeting filled with adults. It is genuine, and unrestrained, because it is my 5-year-old son’s morning meeting with his TK class.

This is just one of the ways our lives have changed that would have been unfathomable just a few months ago.

Our world has already lost so many people. People who were beloved family members and friends. People who were irreplaceable.

Health care workers and first responders risk their lives and health for the ailing.

Countless jobs, which provide for the well-being and livelihood of so many, are just gone.

There is so much loss surrounding us that it can be overwhelming. Even our kids are sacrificing. They have been asked to sacrifice their schooling, seeing their teachers and their friends in person. This is something really unique to their life experience so far.

We as parents, and most likely even their grandparents can’t exactly relate. As children we were never collectively asked to give up so much. They are shouldering their sacrifice so bravely, and with so much grace. I really am so in awe of them, and so grateful for their strength.

The future truly is bright.

I wrote a little story inspired by my boys, and really all of the children who are walking this journey right now: The Brave Boys Who Stayed Home.

My hopes in writing it are three-pronged:

1. To help children see themselves as the heroes they are, and that the adults around them recognize their heroism as such.

2. To celebrate the imagination of children and remind all of us just how essential it is. Not only is it imperative to creativity, and innovation but it is also a great escape in times of hardship.

3. To celebrate some great pieces of literature and hopefully instill a curiosity into these grand tales of bravery.

I have a created a version for Kindle, which you can download from Amazon

Enjoy the read-aloud of this book:


[tweet "A picture book to encourage children shouldering sacrifice during the #pandemic"]

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Copyright 2020 Laura Torres

About the author: Laura Torres is a Catholic mom (of three boys so far). She taught for several years in a Catholic school, and has been working with homeschool children for the last five years. Laura received her MA in Literacy Education from LMU. Visit her website at MillieAndEsther.com.