Sunday morning, I was taking a stroll through our neighborhood and came upon a man constructing a massive sign in his front lawn. A high arch of pink balloons framed large silver letters spelling out M-O-M. Before the Ups and Downs, I think I would have seen something like this and cynically sneered, seeing the whole thing as a waste of time and money. Every classmate birthday invitation we've received in the last two months to, "Drive by and wish so-and-so a happy birthday!" have seemed to me to be unnecessary and possibly dangerous. Walking by the giant "MOM" sign, though, I started thinking that maybe I'm wrong.
We're self isolating right now during the time of year that historically has people coming out of their winter hibernation to enjoy spring, celebrate graduations, and attend weddings. Now, people are doing those things remotely. It's kind of amazing that in this time, people aren't just throwing in the towel and saying to hell with feeling joyful. Celebrations, albeit in an entirely new form, are still happening.
There's perhaps no greater example of this resilient form of celebration than Some Good News. If you're having a bad day, or wondering how we can keep going like this for possibly another year, just go over there and take a look. It's in our nature to create new ways to express joy and mark the passage of time and the importance of dates in our lives.
I kept thinking about the balloon sign as I rounded our street and headed home. It was Mother's Day, and I couldn't be with my mom or sister, two mothers who I admire deeply. When I got in the house, I got texts from both of them within minutes signalling they were available for a chat. As soon as their faces popped up on my screen, I felt happy and connected. We may not be able to be with each other in person, but I'm so glad that we have the ability to see and share and talk. I'm constantly thinking about what these types of outbreaks must have been like for people in times before the technological revolution we're living through.
After chatting with my family, I exchanged a flurry of good wishes with other mothers in my life, then I headed to the backyard where my husband and daughters were playing. I got in our hammock with my two girls and watched as they laid their feet over me, tickling each other's toes and giggling. There were no presents, there were no meals out, but there was love and celebration in the simple act of being with my little ladies. We will all have to adapt to this new life, and finding moments of joy, be they remote or at home, will be what we remember when this is all over.