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In all of the COVID-19 concerns, and wondering about the future, and shaking my head at what we are doing to ourselves because of it, sometimes I need some time to step away from it all. It seems like I need to do that more, the longer this goes on.

With all of the debates on the Opinion page about what we should do, shouldn't do, who did what, who didn't do what and what we are doing now or aren't doing now, I try to follow along and figure out what I think for myself. I know it's an odd thing to do, but someone needs to do it.

But in the midst of all the "trying to figure it out" I've also noticed that I need to just walk away and give the mind a break. Sometimes that seems much harder, especially when I love a good political debate. It really doesn't matter what I think anyway does it? I'm not the one making the choices that are affecting our lives right now.

However, there is one activity that I get to do that keeps me centered and sane. I get the chance to watch one of my 9 granddaughters while mom continues to work at her essential job. Rabbit trail: I'm not sure who decides what job is "essential" and what isn't. It seems that putting food on the table, and a roof over your head is pretty essential these days, and when you need an income to do it, it seems like all jobs are essential. See I told you I love politics.

Back to what I started to say, while babysitting, we have a routine down. If we see each other in the early a.m. it's scrambled eggs for breakfast, her favorite. If it's later in the day, we share a salad together. I get the healthy greens and she wants the berries and meat.

Grandma is warping her into love the Gaither Vocal Band so that hopefully I have someone to share my music with later. She's fascinated when I sing along and I'm fascinated that I don't know the words.

At some point, she will need to take a nap and I will need to work on my phone while she does so. I snuggle her in, singing her to sleep and cuddling her close, and if I don't get distracted, by the number of curls on her head I'm deep into email before she's deep in her sleep.

I keep getting messages from Apple telling me that the memory on my phone is just about full. Come on, just because I have some 2,000 pictures on there doesn't mean that I should stop taking pictures, does it? Or that I'm biased about my grandchildren, it just means that there is something fascinating about seeing yourself on Grandma's camera. After all that MUST be why Grandma looks at it all the time! It doesn't matter if it's the oldest or the youngest, they all want to see themselves on my phone.

So part of our naptime ritual is looking at Grandma's phone to see the pictures. Or watch videos of ourselves. Often, we spend our watching time giggling together at the sounds she made on the video or jigging along to the music that made the baby jig in the video.

Finally, after 100 rounds of Jesus Loves Me, and I'll love you forever, or I love you, you love me and the Itsy Bitsy Spider she dozes off to sleep. Now the REAL battle begins. Grandma's fight to stay awake when this happens.

"I must work, I must work" is the mantra, and usually, I do pretty well funneling through all of the details in the email, or even writing articles on the phone. I've even learned how to crop photos and resize them for articles, but sometimes, I get distracted. Yesterday just looking at the baby in my arms and the curls on her head, took me back some 20+ years ago to a time I held another little girl in my arms and a time when life was much more normal.

As I ran my fingers through her curls I smiled as they formed a perfect little ring around her head and I did what I do a lot of these days. I prayed. When you have 6 kids, with 6 other additions and 10 grandchildren, there is never an end to your prayers.

In the grand scheme of things, COVID-19, while it seems like it's all-consuming, and the most important thing happening in our lives right now, it's really not. While we have no idea what's going to happen, chances are more likely than not that we'll be fine. It might be rough, but we'll get through it. The Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow, and I'm lousy at that. Especially when I see what yesterday was like.

But I do like to plan. And part of the routine while waiting for those little eyelids to close into a sleep so that I can "get to work" includes something like Jeremiah's letter in chapter 29. A sort of prayer for the little one that I'm holding as well as the ones that I held years ago and the ones that have joined the family since then. I ask God to include them all in His plans. Jeremiah said, beginning in verse 11. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares theLord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.I will be found by you,"

While it seems that there is nothing but all kinds of different craziness circling around us, I know that while I panic a bit on the outside, I also know that there is some solace in the fact that I don't control anything. All I can do is talk to the Guy that does. I can't control how things turn out, and I can't always be there to protect curly-headed little girls when they are small or even when they grow up, but I know Someone who can. My job, along with this one, is to remember that.

I have a sign on the wall that says, "Pray more, Worry less." I'm not sure I have gotten my dollar's worth out of that sign, which is why I bought it, I knew I needed that reminder. But it is more important to pray about things than to worry about them.

So while we're all hunkered down and peeking out the blinds at the world around us, relax a little. For some, relax a LOT. This is just a season of time that we are going through. Enjoy a slower pace if you are in one. Find the good in the different routines that you find yourself in. When things get to be a little bit too much for you, take some time to talk to the One that is in charge of everything. You'll feel better.


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Barb Beau April 28, 2020, 2:09 pm Lucky you! Those grandkids would be a welcome diversion. Enjoy.....and good luck with those naps!
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