‘These dang ghosts are out of control. They’re flying around making everyone sick!’ I don’t want to lie, but I want her to feel safe.’: Single dad finds creative ways to keep daughter calm during pandemic

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“The hardest part about all of this is not showing fear in front of my kid.

Having to explain to her, ‘The world has changed and it’s not safe to be outside,’ has been tough. I don’t want to lie to her, and I’ve been forthcoming regarding the state of things. My biggest worry for her is her feeling unsafe because she sees fear on her dad’s face. The thought of her being lost and terrified with her protector gone is the deepest wound I’ve ever known.

My explanation regarding COVID has ranged from, ‘a lot of germs’ to, ‘these dang ghosts are out of control this time of year and they’re flying around making everyone sick.’

The hardest moment I’ve had so far is in the grocery store when she’s asking me, ‘What’s wrong with everyone?’ and, ‘Why aren’t people being nice to each other?’ She’s so used to a world filled with joy and kindness.

It’s difficult for me to suppress my own feelings of panic. She’s taken to walking everywhere with her hand over her mouth and telling me to do the same.

She knows she is not to leave my side for any reason and to point at things she wants without touching them.

It kills me to think she’s seen me afraid.

We’re in the house doing reading and writing and math.

She’s learning, and so am I.

When we dawn our Ghostbusters suits, we feel like we have a marginal sense of control over the mayhem. Our ghost hunt yesterday in Patterson Park was an awesome way to get some fresh air and be kids while still maintaining social distancing thanks to the sprawling landscape.

There’s no telling where this is all headed, but until it’s over, we’ll be in the house wearing our Ghostbusters suits and staying ready in case any Corona Ghosts want to come in here and get lit up by our inflatable proton packs.

It makes her feel safe, and that’s my job.”

Courtesy of Grey Smith

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Grey Smith. Follow him on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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