Parenting in the pandemic: Claustrophobia

This year has been tough on everyone. I think most people have felt some form of depression or anxiety–kids included.

Lucas is such a curious, energetic, outgoing boy, and I feel really bad that he’s cooped up all the time. Almost daily he asks if he can go to the park, the playground, the beach, the mall, and sorrowfully we have to tell him no. When he sees us getting ready to go out for errands or groceries, he asks hopefully, “Can Lucas come?” I feel terrible that we always have to say no.

Sometimes we let him bike around the village, but it’s such a tiny little compound, and the streets aren’t smooth. He loves biking downhill though.

We’ve been able to bring him to a few carefully selected places, just so he can run around for a little while, and see other people. We brought him to Dante’s house in Cubao, where there’s a bigger yard, and he can bike, look at the fish in the ponds, play football. We brought him to my relatives in Marikina, where the streets are wider, and everyone played football with him and chased him around.

One Sunday, we took him to Loyola Memorial Park. We visited my dad, and we let Lucas ride his bike and run around. We explored the lovely mausoleums and ran across the grass. There were few people and few cars, and it was peaceful.

Another time, we all went to Decathlon. We figured, there were wide open spaces, and Lucas could try the bikes and scooters.

Always, safety precautions are in place. We bring water and snacks. As much as possible, we keep masks and face shields on. We have alcohol for quick sanitizing. We bring a change of clothes. We keep away from other people. And as soon as we get home, everyone takes a shower and the used clothes and towels go straight into the washing machine.

One of these days, perhaps we’ll take him for a walk along the Marikina River. Let’s just hope he doesn’t run into the water!

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