Skip to main content

Please Really Think About It Before Getting Together This Mothers' Day

Okay, friends. No poetry or pretty words today.

Most likely, if you're reading this, you're someone I love. And if you're someone I don't yet know, I bet I'd love you if I met you. Most people are, I find, extremely lovable.

And I'm worried about you.

Sunday is Mothers' Day. And many of us love getting together on Mothers' Day. I know I sure do. My mom is 89 years old, have I told you that? Sharp, independent, and very funny. She moved about 10 minutes away from me four years ago, and we've gotten together every Mothers' Day either for a crawfish boil or brisket from Franklin's.

But this year: nope. I've got something special planned for her, but it doesn't involve either of us being in each other's house, and we certainly aren't going out to a restaurant. And she doesn't just support this, she's the one driving this bus, so to speak. She grew up hearing her grandmother talk about the Spanish flu epidemic when she (mom's grandmother) was so sick, she didn't know that her own mother had died of it.

I'm not saying our choices should be yours. Truth is, this is probably going to be our reality for a while, and every family is going to have to really think hard, and make some difficult choices. Time with each other is important, especially with loved ones for whom the days are dwindling down to a precious few.

And there are so many factors that are a part of this, like if both parties are already at virtually 0% contact with the outside world. There's no one simple answer that will work for everyone.

But that doesn't mean we should just throw up our hands and say, "in for a penny, in for a pound." A pound of SARS-CoV2 viral particles, yikes! If I have to be exposed, just a penny, please.

So, I encourage you to take the time and read this:

The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them

It's written in a way that non-scientists like me can understand, but with the vital contentions sourced.

In thinking about Mothers' Day, here's what jumped out at me: she outlined the "super-spreading" events, and one of the three is "weddings, funerals, birthdays." And after that, she explains with a diagram how spreading happens in restaurants.

Make your choices informed by facts, considered soberly, and limiting the risk factors. Smaller groups are better than larger. Outside is better than inside. Shorter visits are better than long. 6 ft apart. Masks. Wash hands.

Love well.


Popular posts from this blog

Don't Trust Your Instincts, or, "Well-Meaning People Can Exacerbate Big Problems"

My evangelical friends talk about being "convicted." That moment when you hear or read a message and like an arrow, it dives into your heart, and you know that you have been guilty, and you have some growing to do. At the very beginning of my learning about Bowen systems theory, the professor was laying out the basic idea: that we all feel anxiety, and when we do, we act (often in unhealthy ways) in order to lessen our anxiety. And in an unhealthy system with emotionally immature people -- a family, a business, a church -- one person's anxiety can trigger the anxiety of others. Here's a great primer on that. Really great. Like, watch it 20 times in a row. Or every morning as you drink your coffee. (I'm not kidding. I think your life would be better. Consider it a spiritual practice.) So back to my conviction moment. The professor went on to talk about how when we see someone who is "vibrating" with anxiety, our instinct is often to rush over,

The Most Controversial Thing I'll Write All Year

Back when you were a kid, you learned a lesson. It was wrong. And it's time for you to unlearn it. You learned that you were responsible for other people's feelings. Not that you should care about other people's feelings. (You should.) Not just that you should be sensitive to other people's feelings. (You should.) But you were taught that you were actually responsible for other people's feelings. It happens in almost all homes, even the loving ones. In abusive homes, it's more blatant. If Dad is unhappy, you get hit. So you learn that it is actually your responsibility to keep him happy, or there would be consequences. But even in non-abusive homes, it happened. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  You are not responsible for other people's feelings. That's their job. And in fact, you are crossing their boundary if you try to control their feelings. They get to decide how they feel about something, not you. They may decide that you

Me and My Collar

You may run into me on a Friday, in my neighborhood, so it's time I let you know what you might see. When I was doing my required unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), my supervisor suggested that any of us who came from traditions where a clerical collar was an option, take one "collar week," to see how we were treated, as opposed to wearing regular professional clothes. After a couple of days, I joked to the Catholic priest, "How do you manage the power?" In regular clothes, I would walk into a patient's room, and it would take about 5 or so minutes of introductions and pleasantries before we could really get down to talking about their feelings, their fears, the deep stuff. With most people, as soon as that clerical collar walked in the room, with me attached, they began pouring out all the heavy stuff they were carrying. I was riding the bus back and forth every day, and though not quite so dramatic, the collar effect was alive there, to