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  • Writer's pictureNora Walsh Kerr

Virtual Mothering

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

This current pandemic is testing the will and patience of everyone, my two children included. They’re not keen on homeschool, mainly because their new teachers (Mom & Dad) are not nearly as patient as their old ones. Like many other parents, I’ve added elementary school teacher to the list of job titles I never wanted, right up there with dog groomer and emergency toilet paper finder. I have new appreciation for people with actual skills in these areas and I hope my dogs forgive me someday for the bad haircuts.

We cancelled one trip to Arizona last month and may be looking at more vacated vacation plans this summer depending on our comfort level around flying in a tube with 200 other germ carriers. I know I should embrace the road trip, but flying is just so convenient! Plus I really do miss casual contact with strangers, any people other than my immediate family. I even miss TSA lines at this point.

Our cancelled spring break plans were to go see my mom, who is facing her own dilemma now in Phoenix, Arizona. Back in March, she was happy to be sequestered in the desert when it was 75 degrees. Now that it’s in the triple digits, her favorite pastime, golfing, is as high-risk of an activity as flying home. She's waiting this out another month and until then, will spend much of her day reading John Grisham books and rewatching all 250 episodes of Modern Family. I think Jay Pritchett reminds her of my dad, funny, lovable, and a bit of a crank.

This Mother’s Day, the kids and I will call my mom (a.k.a. G-Ma) via FaceTime and my kids can fill her in on how horrible their new teachers are and ask whether her pool is still closed (it is) and how the coyotes and javelinas are doing. Then I will take a turn unloading, because even at 43, I still need virtual mothering. Don’t we all? I realize I’m lucky to still have this option.

To all you mothers, mother figures, and Mother Teresas out there (I’m looking at you, teachers and health care workers), THANK YOU. Let’s hope by next Mother’s Day, we will be brunching at our local diner with hundreds of other beautiful strangers who I will not take for granted again.

Nora Kerr is the founder of Memoir for Me, a life story book company based in Chicago.


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