It’s July, which means that 2020, this dumpster fire of a year, is half over. Summer has arrived…. not that it looks like any summer we’ve experienced before.
We all made it through the fresh hell that was distanced learning with our kids, though there were many tears & tantrums involved (and by “tears and tantrums”, I mean my own).
But now that summer is finally here, things still don’t feel “normal”. At ALL. We’ve all been muddling our way through this bizarre phase of life known as social distancing. We’ve hunkered down in our houses for months, we’ve worn the masks.
We’ve pumped the sanitizer. We’ve stocked up on toilet paper, done the family Zoom sessions, dodged the camera of our kid’s class Google Meets (or not, in some unfortunately hilarious cases). We’ve driven past the shuttered malls, movie theatres, gyms, and stores that were not “essential”.
The our kids’ schools & favorite parks have been closed. Birthday celebrations were drive-by affairs. Grandparents could wave through our windows, but not hug their grandchildren for safety’s sake.
And we are all so.over.it.
A video featuring a little girl’s breakdown over the things she’s missing from life before the pandemic has gone viral because even us grown-ups are feeling her pain right now.
Back in March, Ben & Rebecca McLennan were explaining aspects of the quarantine to their family over dinner. Their 4-year-old daughter Blake had a strong reaction to the devastating news that many of her favorite places could no longer be visited.
(And oh, how we all feel ya’ on that, little one!)
Blake begins to cry as she repeats her parents’ explanation, clearly grasping the despairing reality of the situation:
‘Cause now everything in this world has to shut ALL THE WAY DOWN cause nobody gets to go anywhere cause it’s all shut down!
Remember when the news first hit that we all had to practice social distance, and that the things we loved were now simply “shut down”? Even as an adult, that was hard to grasp, no??
Blake’s favorite things are no longer available, and like the rest of us, that is not cool with her:
The ice cream truck. The ice cream truck is shut down…
(and fittingly in the background you can hear the anguished cries of Blake’s siblings, because no kid wants to hear that the ice cream truck, a mobile treasure chest of sugary goodness, is finito.)
But it’s not just the loss of the ice cream truck; all the fun things in a 4-year-old’s world are now locked away. And like many of us, this sweet 4-year-old is struggling to even deal with her new reality.
It’s more than just the ice cream truck:
and the water truck place is shut down which is my favorite park because it has my favorite ones…
Cue the cutest moment: her dad asks her, “Which one?”, and Blake’s tears are momentarily paused as she elaborates to her father that it’s:
They can’t go ANYWHERE, dammit, not even McDonald’s, which as Blake explains her “favorite restaurant”.
When Ben tells her that they can still go to the McDonald’s drive-thru, Blake sets him straight that it’s not about the food.
If you go through the drive-thru it’s just boring cuz you have to wait for your food to come and if you’re inside playing on the playground it wouldn’t be boring.
Right?! For a little kid, the playground IS McDonald’s. Sitting in the car on a line waiting for your Happy Meal isn’t very…happy for a kid who’s used to wriggling through the germ-infested gerbil tubes that is McyD’s indoor playgrounds.
Truth!! It is really frustrating!!
Everything in Blake’s town (and our own towns) has to shut ALL THE WAY DOWN, and she’s really, really sad about it.
(I remember having the same exact reaction when they announced that schools would be closed until further notice. Full-on ugly crying commenced. Who’s with me on that one?!)
Even church. Blake loves church, and the goodies offered in her Heroes Academy classes on Sunday mornings. But church is only on TV right now, so there’s no Sunday school Play-Doh. No extra sweets for doing a great job.
Nailed it, Blake! It’s not fair.
As adults we struggle to comprehend the reality of how the pandemic has altered our way of life. How much more confusing must it be for our children? Blake gets right to the point:
I mean, why would germs come around to people if they don’t want germs to come around to them?
I KNOW, right?! So with you, baby girl- what the hell are you DOING, Covid-19???
Blake’s parents acknowledge to her that it’s a lot to deal with, but that we’re all doing what we can to keep everyone safe. She absorbs that, pauses, and then asks the crucial question…
Mom, tomorrow will I be able to play on my iPad?
*cue laughter from both of her parents, & fellow parents everywhere who totally get it!*
This adorably poignant video of a child’s reaction to the quarantine has spread on social media like wildfire because she truly captures the mixture of grief, confusion, and sadness that so many of us feel about life in the midst of a pandemic.
Ben’s video has been shared many times, & recently went viral when Facebook user Ahmad Hall posted it on his page (link at the end of this post) with the hialriously fitting caption:
I am ????
Yall we not gone make it! The Coronavirus done shut down the ice cream truck ??
This pandemic is heavy stuff to say the least. Even we adults are feeling the grief of having our way of life thrown into a blender & pureed. We’re all mourning the things we miss about our “normal”, even if it’s the creature comforts that we enjoy.
It’s ok for anyone & everyone to struggle right now. We miss the fun stuff that’s not available to us right now. We miss pre-pandemic life. Our kids do, too. And although there are silver linings to be found (like screen time, yay!), Blake’s reaction is an adorable yet heartbreaking reminder that pandemic life is just plain weird.
I am ????Yall we not gone make it! The Coronavirus done shut down the ice cream truck ??*I have been trying to locate the family of this beautiful little girl and guess what!? Found them! Her name is Blake! She is the daughter of Ben McLennan and Rebecca McLennan! She has blessed the world ???
Posted by Ahmad Hall on Monday, July 6, 2020