In the last month, I have been working from home and not doing as many errands. I haven’t commuted, and I’m not pumping. I haven’t been packing a daycare bag (times two, plus a Pre-K backpack).

Most of our doctor’s appointments have been postponed. Extended family get-togethers have been put on hold, including our newest rainbow baby’s baptism. We’re doing our best, following social distancing guidelines for our area.

I wouldn’t say it’s always easy to be home with three children under the age of five and with two parents taking turns teaching online.

But I have practiced finding the good in situations. It happened naturally when my first son died. I gained an ability to see the bigger picture, in a way I hadn’t before.

We miss seeing our friends and our families, especially our kids’ grandparents on both sides. But I’m focusing on the fact that they are all safe and healthy. There are other things that I also miss, that I can’t wait to do as soon as we can.

Interestingly, though, there is something I have more time for now. It’s something that would have peeked through the busyness occasionally, something I would have carved out time for when I could. But it would have been more fleeting.

It is a particular type of joy. This joy is just as palpable as the pain that preceded it. Because the air felt heavy and suffocating when my son died. The air surrounding this joy feels light and shimmering. It might be so vivid because of, or in spite of, the grief that took over before.

I have always felt deeply, the highs and the lows, even before my loss. So this joy can be overwhelming. But I’m letting it overwhelm me on purpose now. I have more time to let it in. This joy in raising rainbows.

With a lack of our typical “go, go, go” schedule, I can spend more one-on-one time, or one-on-two time, or even one-on-three time with my rainbows.

Children playing outside - Finding Joy in Raising Rainbows During a Pandemic

I’m introverted and crave quietness, so my downtime right now looks like taking the two littlest ones for meandering walks without a time limit while my husband plays in our backyard with our oldest. Sometimes (very rarely), all three kids nap at the same time, on or near me, on a sunny afternoon with blue skies and the windows wide open. I doubt I have felt more at peace than in those moments. Sometimes during a four-month sleep regression, I get exactly one full night of sleep.

The little things have become the big events of the day. I have time and space to notice and appreciate them. When our busy schedules return, I hope to look back on this as the time I truly felt this joy in raising rainbows.

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