Upon launching Union Square Play Online back in March, I said to our community of families: “We’ll remember this time forever, and our children may very well remember it too. But let them remember building a fort with Dad, making dough with Mom, or watching a Ramblin’ Dan music class as a family.” I meant every word. But even then–only a few weeks ago–I didn’t yet realize just how hard that would be.
See, I have two daughters, Tess, 2, and Nell, 5 months. In my regular life, I own Union Square Play, a children’s play space in the heart of NYC. But now that we’ve pivoted to an online platform, I wake up every day and “going to work” means jumping on a Zoom call for a virtual moms’ group or taking photos of an activity set-up to share with the USP Online community. And as much as I feel disoriented in this new normal, I know my kids are feeling it too.
Take today, when Tess begged me to go to the grocery store, the only place she knows Mommy and Daddy have been in recent weeks. When the tantrum came, I sat next to her, hugging her, and just patiently waiting for her to calm down. Then I talked to her. “I know this is really, really hard right now. We have to stay home because so many people are getting sick.”
Pause… "The playroom is closed?”