Confusing Encounter on the Mother’s Day – 2020
Guest writer – Malika Rahman.
Late afternoon on Mother’s Day 2020
I just came home from my daily COVID-19 evening walk, feeling a little confused, than usual. I am not able to get all my answers so thought of writing my thoughts out.
6 feet apart evening walks are becoming normal for everyone these days. It is the reality we live in, and we are slowly getting used the precautionary measures while living our daily lives.
Today I was about to finish my regular walk around the neighborhood when I saw few children playing in the school park. A group of elderly were chatting in the corner maintaining the 6 feet rule.
Probably keeping an eye on those children. Everything looked perfect as a summer day in my suburb.
As I walked across, I saw a young mother sitting on the grass holding her child in her lap. The daughter smiled at me and the mother said “hi” to me. I slowed down my walking speed and waved back them.
Suddenly the little girl jumped out of her mother’s lap and came running towards me. She wanted to hug me, so she stood right beside me with open arms. Without a blink I bend myself to her height and realized that my right hand was still inside my pocket with gloves on, and I was holding my phone on my left.
That was the moment when I realized about social distancing and the new rules to practiced in our society.
I was confused and nervous at the same time, I looked at the mother with that expression.
She understood the dilemma which I was, having At that moment, without even using any words she told me it was fine.
I was asking myself is it socially correct to hug this little girl now and follow my emotions?
I was not sure, so I forwarded my left leg to her like how our politicians and health officials taught us.
The little girl followed my lead and did the same, she had fun doing it like a dance routine.
The mother came towards me and told me that she was busy all week and never got enough time to spend with her daughter or to take her out anywhere. She decided to spend the weekend with her as because they cannot go anywhere else, they just came to the park.
We chatted a bit, had a laugh and talked about the life of social distancing.
As I was about to leave the daughter came and hugged me, my whole effort of social distancing just broke in that second but I couldn’t help myself but hugging her more. I gave her my blessings and wished the mother
“Happy mothers days” she responded back with the same.
I came home thinking how I don’t even hug my own son these days unless he is all washed up.
What are supposed to be like in the coming future. How are we going to live without affection and touch? How am I going to teach my students and toddlers about social distancing? Why did I feel confused before hugging the little girl? Why do I have to take shower before touching my own son? How are new parents supposed to teach social distancing to their kids and make it seem normal?
Working with children on a regular basis we have been given every training about COVID-19. I have taken a lot of classes and even gave lectures and trainings to my employees about social distancing and preventive measures.
Professionally in the midst of COVID-19, I can respond to every question about this issue practically and also promote 6 feet distancing but personally I had no answers today. Today in Mother’s Day I was confused with my thoughts.
Hopefully we come out of this pandemic soon and return to normalcy and next Mother’s Day we don’t have to practice social distancing.
Notes by Malika
edited and presented by shak