Prayer for Parenting in a Pandemic

This is a prayer for parenting in a pandemic
A prayer for the dirty laundry and piled up dishes,
A prayer for dance parties and cuddle puddles,
for long walks and improvised "science experiments,”
for screen time as education and distraction,

This is a prayer for working parents zooming another meeting with a little face joining in
for new parents, waiting for new life without support
for the single parents, doing all this alone.

A parent cradles the head of a toddler wearing pink footie pajamas.

For parents who are on the front lines,
and essential workers,
who worry every day about being away from home,
about bringing something home,
about holding it all together as you hold the world together.

This is a prayer for the more than 2,000 meals you’ve made
For the hundred-millionth time you’ve heard “Can I have a snack?”
for the 5 minutes of alone time you can squeak out every day
For the 2, 4, 6, 60 grey hairs you’ve acquired, so far

This is a prayer for the meltdowns, the missed naps, the many, many tears,
the distance-learning homework no one wants do to but still, somehow, feel the need to fight about.

This is a prayer for wondering if they will ever fall asleep,
for wondering if they will ever get up,
a prayer for pretending that you’re enjoying yourself while you all play their favorite game.

This is a prayer for all the missed milestones:
for holding your child as they cry over missing their friends,
missing their prom,
missing their graduation.
For your own tears because you can’t fix this problem.
This is for all the milestones still marked:
The public birthday party parades,
And zoom proms hosted by celebrities,
The family celebrations of learning to walk,
the first lost tooth,
the private, personal celebrations of the many ways you’ve watched your children grow and mature – right close up.

This prayer is for all the newly-formed family bands
and midday, pajama-clad dance parties,
for all the backyard bathing,
for the new trampolines, new bikes, new play structures.
A prayer for inside obstacle courses,
and learning to make new crafts,
for all the pets that have joined new families.

This is a prayer for bonding and breaking,
for togetherness and too much togetherness.
This is a prayer for love,
For anger,
for grief,
for time out of time.
This is a prayer for parenting in a pandemic. Amen.