Facing my Fears in Quarantine While Serving the Peanuts

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The hardest and best decision I made during quarantine was to “keep serving the peanuts.” Early on in the stay-at-home order, I began listening to Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. She tells the story of a difficult time in her life and shares an analogy of a flight experiencing turbulence. When you are on a plane with a great deal of turbulence, what do you do? You look to the flight attendants who should have the most knowledge and experience and probably know best how this situation will pan out. What do the flight attendants do? They keep serving the peanuts and water and do so with confidence, grace, and a smile. They may brace for bigger bumps, but the peanuts continue to be served. 

A male flight attendant checking on two girls on the flight as he keeps serving the peanuts

After listening to that analogy, I sent it to my friends. I said, “This is what we need to do. We need to keep serving the peanuts”. The world began to rapidly change in early March. As the world felt like it was losing control around us, I took my boys on hikes. As I read the news and uncertainty surmounted, I played in the backyard with my kids. As things got scary and hard and confusing, I may have slipped into the bathroom to shed a few tears then come out to play a game or serve another snack. 

Parenting is not about ignorance of the fear and uncertainty in this world. Parenting is not about avoiding the scary things. Parenting is about leading our kids in a way that tells them that there is still hope. All hope is not lost, and we can weather this storm together.
 
I hope that when my kids look back on this time, they don’t remember my fear and concern. I hope they don’t remember the conversations I had with my husband about the choices we were making and what we expected may happen in the near future. I hope they remember our little mini trips we took around the area to find new adventures. I hope they remember Zoom calls with their classmates and cousins to break up the monotony of the stay-at-home days. I hope they remember new activities like making a gingerbread house in April and a bounce slide on the warm days. I hope they remember lunch with dad every day and midday soccer games. 
 
If, when my kids get bigger, they ever ask me, “Mom, how did you do it? How did you face that hard time when we were so little?” I hope I can tell them,”I wasn’t sure everything would be okay, but I hoped everything would be okay. And I just kept serving the peanuts”. 
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Katie Mueth
Katie is a Des Peres mom of two young boys, Trace (2014) and Henry (2016). Katie stays home with her boys most of the time but also spends a bit of time away as a high school lacrosse coach. Katie enjoys connecting with other moms to run, meet at parks, explore new restaurants, listen to live music and discuss books. Katie and her boys can be found enjoying many activities around St. Louis including the Science Center, Zoo, Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Urban Fort and Frisco Train Store, but what they enjoy most is just being outdoors. They have tried many of the parks around St. Louis City and county and also love hiking trails at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley and Shaw Nature Reserve. Katie and her family love all that St. Louis has to offer for families of young children and can most often be found taking advantage of all of the many opportunities.

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