In the past week the world has changed, things are far from “normal”.

Our kids are home from school, yours too?

We had planned on driving to California for Spring Break to visit my parents and that was canceled because we don’t want to get them sick. Have you canceled any travel plans?

Hearing the news, reading articles and email, and seeing things on social media it’s clear to me that we need to take coronavirus seriously.

And at home, when I listen to my kids laugh in the other room and see them spending time together I have hope.

As much as I’m able, I’m not going to be scared.

I’m going to discover new ways to live and breathe.

As a family, this will be tough. I’ve already seen that with my kids. They don’t like that I’ve told them to stop sleepovers… and that we’re not letting other people into our house.

We’ve raised our girls to have a voice, to speak their minds, and to know that they can sway us.

This is uncharted territory for us.

If you need ideas for how to talk to your kids about coronavirus and social distancing, here is a wonderful workshop done by some previous Happily Family Conference speakers and colleagues, Tina Payne Bryson, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Cara Natterson, Lori Gottlieb, Katherine Reynolds Lewis, and Deborah Reber – Parenting in the Age of Coronavirus

I talked with my cousin on the phone yesterday. He’s an epidemiologist. I understand that, in the US, we are just at the beginning.

I understand that this will be a serious strain on our health care system and our economy…

And as a family, as a nation–maybe even as a world–this time could be a gift.

As parents, we’ve always said that we’d like more time with our kids, and we’d like life to slow down.

✨Wish granted!✨

Even in the midst of a dark time, there could be some positives to this situation.

As long as people get their basic needs met.

As long as we don’t forget to help our neighbors.

As long as we don’t forget that we belong to each other.

As long as we don’t use this time to numb ourselves, but use it to connect–in new ways–more than ever.

As for me, I will discover new ways to live, love, and have meaning.

I will work. (We are here for you!)

I will garden. (Weeds, be gone!)

I will dance.

I will walk outside.

I will wave to neighbors that I love, give them “air hugs”, and talk to them from 6 feet away.

I will read and slow down.

I will sleep.

I will keep my curtains open so that I can see the sun and the sky, and people walking by.

And I will look forward to the time when we can touch each other again.

Hugs to you, my friend!
Cecilia and Jason Hilkey

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky of Los Angeles said:

The very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing. We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way.

Every hand that we don't shake must become a phone call that we place.

Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.

Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise…  

Let's stay safe. And let's draw one another closer in a way that we've never done before.