If you were reading this column back in 2020, you may remember that my “word for the year” – which I chose instead of making a New Year’s resolution – was “THRIVE.”
When 2020 began, our baby boy had just been given the diagnosis of “failure to thrive.” This, combined with a mysterious respiratory virus, resulted in two hospital stays between December 2019 and January 2020, one of which involved the horrific experience of having our two-month-old intubated in the ICU. We needed to help him thrive; not only that, but our entire shaken family needed to figure out how to thrive together.
In retrospect, the word seems like an ironic choice: Two months later, COVID hit.
In many ways our family did thrive in 2020, just not in the ways I might have predicted. Our little boy was the most obvious success: The months of lockdown kept him from getting sick while he gained weight and strength. He is now a hefty, active toddler. The rest of us worked hard to thrive as a family through the disappointment of cancelled plans and the monotony of housebound days. We tried to adopt behaviors that would keep ourselves and others safe during an unknown and rapidly changing pandemic situation, while still attempting to prioritize things that aided our mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual health.
It was exhausting. And when the year ended, I looked around and realized that I had two adolescents in the house who were struggling to thrive.