I have been thinking of my grandmother lately. I used to hear my grandmother talk about the great depression and I would try to imagine what her world looked like. It seemed so different than the world I knew; a place where they grew their own food, made their own clothes, and children died with much more frequency.
I have been thinking of history class lately. I was warned to pay attention so history would not repeat itself. I remember that referenced most often when learning about World War II and the pure evil that was done to the Jews.
I have been thinking about Anne Frank lately and how she lived in hiding in that small attic with her family.
I have been thinking about Rome and how they were the World’s strongest country and the warnings that all civilizations have a time where they rise and fall.
I have been thinking about how I used to wonder what would be defining moments in my lifetime. I wondered what would be classified as history book worthy for my grandchildren’s history books. What stories would they want to interview me for their class project?
I admit, 40 days ago, Pandemic was a vintage word in my mind. It was a term to define the ailments of the past. Sure, I often worried if whooping cough was making a comeback, but not a pandemic level of concern.
All this thinking and I am realizing the holes I am missing. I really know very little about pandemics. When I see photos of 1918 with beds and tents outside, I thought those were all war related injuries. I had not recognized that was from the Spanish Flu. I did not realize those events were overlapping.
My passion for history story-telling with my own children is heightened as I think of what is most important for me to teach them. What do they need to know to survive their history making moments?
In January, there were hopeful meme’s that 2020 was to be the best year: afterall it was leap year, holidays were falling on Fridays making more three-day weekends, and of course National Taco Day fell on Taco Tuesday. I think it is still going to be a great year, but man it looks different than I saw it in January.
For 40 days, the Weisingers, have been in lockdown. It has been a luxurious lockdown full of privilege. This is not my Grandmas’s depression.
At least not yet.
Yet, there are still things I wish I knew. I wonder if their lives looked more like mine after all: Slower, simpler times with tension in the air.
This morning I power washed my back patio while two of my boys played in the sandbox in nothing but their birthday suits. The best part was, it was raining. There was something peaceful about the power washer drowning out the sound in my head, the repetitive sweeps washing away filth, the calm “all is ok” of the kids safely playing in the yard. I thought of my grandmother mowing the graveyard (her side job to help put food on their table) with her kids playing nearby. I felt solidarity. While this is not my grandmother’s time, much is not new.