If you talk to any of your friends right now, you’ll hear stress. You’ll hear fear. You’ll hear anger. You’ll hear the fatigue in their voice, the wondering how much longer this can go on.
But if you talk to a kid? You’ll hear excitement about going outside to play in the grass. You’ll hear them asking earnestly, when they finish their lunch, if they can watch that episode of Paw Patrol for the 30th time, as if they’ve never seen it before. You’ll hear their questions—those curious “whys” about this and that—and their hilarious opinions about god-knows-what. They want to make slime. They want to jump in the pool. What they want more than anything right now is another snack.
Because to a kid, what’s happening in the outside world is not even a blip on their radar. They are present. They are enjoying what feels like an extended spring break or an early summer vacation. Even teenagers have adjusted, and there is a refreshingly narrow focus in their resentments and arguments about household matters. Not everyone is mainlining CNN. Not everyone is allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by the relentless negativity (and uncertainty) of world events.
You can learn from that. You can borrow some of this energy. Tap into it. Be a kid. Be responsible too, of course, make sure you are prepared. Make sure you are taking care of what and who you need to take care of. But make sure you are present also. Make sure you are enjoying whatever strange, surreal experience this is.
Zoom in. Enjoy the ordinary. Learn from your kids.