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Be kind, always be kind

Kathy and I talk on the phone every other day. Today, she was walking down the street in New York City from her daughter’s apartment to hers; there were helicopters overhead and police cars whizzing through red lights. New Yorkers cheered for the workers. Someone played a horn out their window. It was noisy and probably rowdy and time for Kathy to get home.

Yesterday Theo and I walked down the street and ran into our neighbor, his former nanny. She gave us both hugs. Last Saturday, we went to the farmer’s market - no masks, no social distancing, no stigmas. Theo is at preschool again and the twins start next week. There is hand sanitizer in every entry and exit but we are protected on an island in the middle of the ocean.

Our experience is so white and so privileged. Theo has no minorities at his preschool. He’s had three books total in his life featuring someone of colour. It would be hard for him to understand the concept of racism - and I’m not sure that I need to teach it to him. As we’ve seen with Covid, understanding something that we can’t see is challenging. It’s so easy to ignore what’s happening in the rest of the world; and I do ignore it - for days. I will skip the news and focus on what’s right in front of me, which is NOT Black Lives Matter or Covid or Trump.

However attached or detached we are from world events, we can still be kind, always be kind. Be helpful, be part of the solution. You can learn this anywhere.

When lockdown started, Theo would hit his siblings. I can’t even begin to describe the daily grind and the pain I was in watching him torment all of us. The day before lockdown, we put locks on the bedroom doors - to protect the babies and instil boundaries and dare I mention consequences. For a family intent on giving as much love as possible at all times, this blockade was a sobering step in navigating our domestic unrest. Ironically, the more hard lines we put up, the more space my husband and I have to literally take deep breaths, strategize and find space to talk to Theo. We are all getting to know each other and part of this new courtship relies on talking. We all need to keep talking and finding small steps toward peace.


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