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The Things We Tell Our Kids

Occasionally, looking through the lens of the past can give us glimpses of what life will be like in the future.

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Dear Time Women Flat Heel Summer Beach Jelly Shoes

When I talked with my kids about life in the 80s, I’d share that I wore jellies, jams, and Swatch watches. My children would blink like I spoke another language. Their mother who wears the same six colors (blue, pink, grey, brown, black, and red); the same mother who has purchased three of the same sweater because she loved it so much; wore plastic shoes, oversized multicolored shorts, and accessories that didn’t match. To prove that I was a different person, I sing the “Apple Bottom Jeans” song and swing my arms in prep to do the Cabbage Patch Dance. 

They cringe and plead, “Mom! Stop.” 

The person I describe is beyond my chidren’s realm of understanding. They only know the person who helped them study for history tests and took them on road trips to learn geography. She is sensible, responsible, and cautious.

This week the differences between the present and past versions of myself helped with processing the upcoming week. I have never celebrated Thanksgiving sans my family. But in good conscience, I couldn’t risk maintaining the tradition. COVID-19 has hit our town. Every day, I hear stories of new cases. People pass along prayer requests for community members. We make soup and leave care packages of cookies on door steps. The kids are getting edgy because they are hearing stories about other schools going virtual. So, my husband and I decided to stay home. 

Then came the angst. I have always spent Thanksgiving with my family. 

If there is one thing I’ve learned about life, it is this. If you give love a chance, it will shine. It turns out several of my friends will be alone this Thanksgiving. So, I asked them for a Zoomsgiving. Can we meet for an hour or two, eat some turkey or pie, and recognize what we do have to be thankful for? Much to my delight, they agreed. 

And this is where I’ll circle back to the beginning of this note. Thirty years from now, I’ll tell my grandchildren 2020 stories. They’ll be stories of wearing masks that match my outfits, having celebrations via videoconferences, and how I formed life-changing friendships in a time when it wasn’t safe to go out.

I cannot wait to see their reactions.   

I’ll close this note wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. May your week bring you love, warmth, and support that you’ll be able to share in the years to come.

💖 Merri

p.s. here is a little game to help with some Thanksgiving fun.

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