When my oldest son was three and accomplished what seemed to be a herculean task, he would yell out, “I DEEEEED it!” He would then toddle out of the room carrying a self-invented toy and tinker with it for hours.
Well, we “DEEEEED it!” We made it through 2020.
We’ve wrapped our brains around puzzles, now know our dog’s favorite marking spots on walks, discovered mind-bending podcasts, maybe even learned how to draw “Tippy” from Highlights. That was just me.
Through all of the changes, bumps and scars we’ve endured this year, here are five takeaways and shoutouts from my corner of life:
- Applying to college is not a lark: to all those kids who go through the process of applying to college, you deserve heaps of credit just for pressing “Submit”.
- Voting matters: to all the newly turned 18-year-olds like my daughter who voted for the first time in the Georgia Run-off Election, thank you for showing up to vote, your voice was heard.
- Societal change is possible: to those of you who pulled out the Sharpies, made a poster and taught civil rights in your living rooms, thank you for helping seek justice for all.
- Calling your parents is gratifying : to those of you who can, call or even Face Time your parents. Sure, you might only see the top of your dad’s head or your mom’s elbow like I do, but it is always worth it. Listen, learn and cherish their stories.
- Focus on goodness more than grades: to those parents, like me who ask our kids the same questions every day…How do you feel about your test? Any homework? HOW can you study on your phone? Dig deeper. Ask what they think about all day, what makes them angry, sad or joyful. Yes, give your kids another reason to think your “soooo weird”.
We can’t just shake out 2021 like a wrinkled shirt and hope it will emerge smooth and seamless. 2020 left potholes in need of repair and human connections that need mending. It’s up to us to show up and do good work that matters, together.