Global catastrophes change the world. It will change the way we move, build, learn and connect.
Young people, even infants and toddlers, are keen observers of people and environments. They notice and react to everything. For families spared the cruelest of the pandemic's horrors, there is still the whiplash of parenting in the midst of existential chaos - the constant reminders that the world is equally capable of offering comfort and hope while unleashing calamity.
In these unprecedented times, of fear, joy, grief and gratitude, let's choose to focus on hope. There's joy and wonder everywhere, when you see the world through the eyes of a child.
Children, families, and educators from Inspire Bilingual Early Learning Center, in Taos, share their stories of hope and a heightened sense of attention and a sharpened awareness of the smallest details and interactions with their children during the pandemic.
"This pandemic makes me realize the value of spending time with my child and enjoying every little detail without the rush of our day to day. We focus on all the positive that we have in our life despite the pandemic," said Karina Escobar, mother and educator.
"The power of staying at home allowed all of us as a family to become closer. We have learned so much about one another," noted Maija Llamas, mother and educator.
"Quarantine has given me the time to do some serious self-care. On top of that, I have been able to watch my son giggle and learn all day long," said Shawntee Cantu, mother.
"La importancia de estar unido a la familia. Tener la esperanza en que toda la humanidad despierte para ser mejores personas. Asi tendran un mundo lleno de amor para nuestros hijos, un mundo lleno de pasion. "The importance of being united with the family. Hope that all of humanity will wake up to be better people. So they will have a world full of love for our children, a world full of passion," according to Sara Barraza, educator.
"I have had the opportunity, during this crisis, to refocus and reset my life's direction and goals, to separate myself from mental ruts, for an opportunity to begin anew," shared Jacob Brunner, family navigator.
"Staying home with my daughter during this pandemic was a breath of fresh air -- a well overdue connection. I enjoyed every minute. She and I were forced to figure out new routines, so we did it together. It has been amazing to be able to sit back and see her using her imagination and creativity through play, being creative, climbing trees, fighting ninjas, riding horses, running from the giant lion (our dog)," said Amanda Escobar, mother and educator.
"These moments I will treasure forever," she continued. "Although we are living in a vulnerable time, we are still in this world of simplicity and beauty that the pandemic has not affected. Being creative overpowered our fear. Every day we venture off to new worlds and exciting places, making memories a other will cherish forever. Pandemic or not, Momma Bear is grateful to have her cub close."
La sonrisa de un nino es algo que contajia. Mis ninos miran positive mientras hablamos de la pandemia. Como familia, igual hemos aportado para los mas necistados, ellos se sienten contentos de saber que ayudaron a un nino o una familia. Sentirse positive y llena de esperanza. "The smile of a child is something that infects. My children look at the positive as we talk about the pandemic. As a family, we have also contributed to those in need, my children are happy to know that they helped a child or a family. They help me feel positive and full of hope," according to Brenda Morales, mother.
"I hope the covid stops and people can be healthy and happy again, and not have to worry anymore," said Jocelyn Escobar, age 7.
"I appreciate the stillness of it. There was just this different feeling; that there is no place for us to go, we can only be right now. As things change, I find myself holding on to that moment of stillness, where I could hear the birds and the wind rustling. My senses were heightened and there was a feeling of hope … hope for a better future, hope for a better world in the solidarity of stillness," said Taylor Etchemendy, Inspire director.
As each day passes, we learn more about ourselves; we learn more about our children, our families and our community. We might not be closer to answering our children's questions or even our own, but already, we are learning how we endure.
We are beginning to sense what will be remembered of this, the small but significant things that will be kept and carried forward: the sound of children's laughter, the tears of fear and sorrow, a baby curiously studying a blade of grass. The relics of a bygone season remind us of life that is and life to come.
We remain connected and hopeful.