“Mommy, come play with me.”
I heard this phrase at least 30 times today from my 4-year-old. She is always prone to wanting Mommy or daddy to play with her, but today was different. She was different. She would not let me out of her sight. She needed me by her side at meal time, play time, TV time, and even potty time.
It was hard not to feel annoyed as I struggled to get anything productive done. Honestly, I could have really used a good five minutes to myself. But the moment I thought I had snuck away for some solitude, the call came again: “Mommy, come play with me.”
At some point — between escorting my girl to the bathroom and going back to our board game — it occurred to me why my daughter was acting differently today.
Because our world was different today.
My daughter is not old enough to fully understand coronavirus or social distancing, but she knows we cannot see our friends right now. She knows she is not going to school to see her teacher and classmates right now. She knows we are not going to church right now. She knows Daddy is home from work every day now. She knows we are not going to stores or out to eat or to any of her favorite indoor play places right now.
On some level, our children know things are different right now. Their level of understanding may vary, but kids are extremely intuitive. They may not be able to verbalize the confusion or unsettledness they feel in these extreme circumstances, but they do know how to say, “Mommy, come play with me.”