In the reality I lived in previously, just four months ago, today is the day that familynomadic were to board a plane and depart Skopje for the US for an amazing five week vacation. We were going to bounce around from southern California to northern New York, visiting grandparents, swimming in the ocean, boating on the lake, going to at least three amusement parks, enjoying super yummy food and amazing grocery stores!!
My current reality now has the familynomadic continue to “shelter in place” here in Skopje as the COVID19 pandemic continues to rage across the globe. While I very much want to shake my fist at this virus, I also need to name the magic that it has brought to the familynomadic as well; the magic of brotherhood and stronger family bonds.
Every day of this pandemic has forced Brother K and Brother M to be each other’s only friend and playmate. With just a two and half year difference in age, K and M are at the magical sweet spot where they can engage each other in complicated imagination play, can hold their own with board games, and where older K can read stories to younger M to pass the time. While the brothers still fight, they do so less and can now navigate themselves out of hostilities without parent interference as much. (Don’t worry…they definitely still get themselves into trouble and annoy the parents.) But they also really just make Momma S and Daddy D smile.
As a family, we are home together every day. While still in separate spaces due to school and work, breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday is a family affair. We play more games together, read more books together, and watch a lot more TV than we really should. We have a lot of questions about the long-term impact of youth development due to the pandemic; but, we also appreciate the opportunity it has given this familynomadic to be even more of a…family.