Have you Discovered Anything Yet About your Family?
I sat down to have an afternoon chat with a friend some days ago. Of course we took all the precautionary measures such as social distancing and we wore our masks as well. Besides that, we ensured we didn’t exceed the two of us or else it became a ‘crowd.’
As we reflected on the changes that have come with the so called curfews, restricted movements and stay at home rallies from government, we realized that families are at a reflection moment as well as discovery stage. It is at this time that families are coming to realities about some pertinent issues perhaps overlooked before.
For instance, given the fact that it is usual cycle, most couples rarely sit to talk about savings and all things money. This time round we couldn’t escape the reality that we needed to talk about our families with a lot of criticality. Finances has been at the centre stage.
In cases where one of the couples is a staunch Christian, this time has been an opportunity for them to fellowship together. The one who is stronger holds the other one’s hand and raises them up. Of course it becomes a sight to wonder when those who once made jokes of your faith to wake up one day and acknowledge that things are tough and that our help now comes from the Lord alone.
For others, it has been a time to take a step back and watch their partner closely now that they are forcefully available. It is a time to review if it is the same man or woman one married because before they were rarely home.
It is also a time some parents are discovering for the first time that little Johny is a very smart boy because when the parent is helping him with homework, the young boy is always correct and you are wrong. You argue with him and he sticks to his guns, reminding you of your younger self, and finally when the homework results come into your phone you realize he was correct.
Other parents discover that perhaps they better start rethinking the future of their children. The promising Robert who often left for school tells you that their school doesn’t do the online studies thing. When you meet his schoolmate, your friend’s son, he tells you they have been studying online from the word go.
That is where as a parent you go and buy a reflector jacket and come with it in the evening. The next day you come home with a helmet and when Robert asks you why you bought them, you coldly tell him that it is all you can give him now that he and school seem not to be meeting anywhere.
For instance I heard someone remark recently that he is surprised that he could survive on half his salary. On inquiring further, he said that he had cut his budgets and discovered that the family enjoyed porridge and sweet potatoes. Bread and milk thus became substitutes.
Whereas meat was taken thrice a week before, today they do meat once a week and on the other days they have found low cost substitutes which the children enjoy so much. Even baby Ryan whom they wrongly thought couldn’t survive without meat soup seems to not like it now.
Another man spoke how he discovered that they could survive with his salary alone. This is after the wife was given a compulsory unpaid leave. Before, they believed their family couldn’t survive without both their earnings.
When one of the earning was cut off by circumstances beyond their control, they had to put their heads together and think through their available resources. Surprisingly enough they found a way through it and now they are happily maneuvering together.
Just a week ago, I also met this woman who remarked that she is surprised how she has managed to keep her cool through the time of no handshakes. Prior, she thought she could ‘die’ without shaking someone’s hand as a proper way of cultural greeting. Now she is doing very fine even with the social distancing.
The other hard thing has been about staying at home. A few people have discovered that it is possible to stay at home for a whole day and enjoy it fully. Even with the absence of Christian church fellowships, others are discovering the beauty of home fellowship.
For example, the eldest child teaches the younger one about bible stories that he/she learns in her/his religious studies. The parents then study and pray together which strengthens the family bond. As a matter of fact, there is always something new we will learn out of unique situations but how we work our way round those situations means our happiness or misery.
We treat it as a discovery, it brings us joy as though we were Columbus when he discovered America. If we take it for granted like there is nothing new, we drain ourselves in misery and resentment. So, have you discovered anything new yet with your family?
Keep going, don’t lose hope, stay safe and most importantly treat your family in high regards because when all is gone, it’s the only fall back plan we have.