Well, here we are. Time is practically standing still. Adults told to stay home might feel like they are trapped, or that their “real” lives are on hold, or that their kids are missing out on experiences that they should have had. However, for young children, this is a very special time. Even if they are too little now to remember it later, this is the time when the adults who take care of them are PRESENT. Really, truly present. Not hurrying on to the next task or activity from morning until night, not exasperated with the slowness of a child’s pace… certainly there could be moments of that, and of both kids and parents being distracted by technology, but there could also be moments of true connection and calm and “just being” that weren’t such a part of our everyday lives before.

Some folks are still working, and are very much overwhelmed by worry about the future, and lamenting a lack of free time. In some families the children are being cared for by others, to keep them safe in the face of uncertainty about how this virus works. I do not mean that we are all on vacation, by any means. But for those who are lucky enough to stay home with their kids, whether or not this is something that you wanted or feel comfortable with, there is a unique opportunity here. Of course, the mountains of laundry still must eventually get done, meals still have to be made, bosses want proof that working from home is still working. But for your child, having loads of time to do whatever is exactly what they need.

After this period of staying home and staying only with family is over, will we remember to allow time? Time to finish the game. Time to finish a thought. Time to tie someone’s shoe slowly and deliberately, without rushing off to the next place you’re going in your mind. Time to talk about your own memories of being a child. Time to linger over meals. Time to put off getting dressed. Time to go from one fun thing to the next without feeling guilty about it. Time to ask yourself what you genuinely enjoy doing, rather than only plowing through what you have to do.

“The more you are focused on time–past and future–the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” –Eckhart Tolle