Rose and Thorn: How Parents are Dealing with Coronavirus

By April 7, 2020 No Comments
When visiting a cousin, their 5-year-old daughter asked me, “What was your rose (it came out more like “wose”) and what was your thorn today?” In other words, what was the best part of your day and what was the worst?


Jacqueline’s answer: “My ‘wose’ was seeing Mimi (her grandmother) and my thorn was a boy in my class is annoying.”

So I ask you the same 2 questions during this unprecedented time.

The first of this series comes from my daughter, Alice-Kate. She lives in Portland, Oregon. This post was written between taking care of her 6 and 4-year-old kids, working from home and trying to help her team move forward.  As a topper, it was also while her wonderful husband was recovering in a separate part of the house. Although he couldn’t be tested, he had all the symptoms of Coronavirus. He’s now feeling better after 11 days. Let’s not even talk about how many meals, snacks, books, questions, laundry loads, lessons and moods that includes. With that background, here is Alice-Kate’s rose and thorn:

What is the rose?

  • Appreciating the journey. Although the cliché circulates Pinterest boards and journal covers, I am understanding this phrase in the micro, in the afternoon walk. The walk on a rainy day with no destination. The destinations that existed before are all boarded up so the walk just is. We just are.
  • The sound of birds. I hear birds, clearly and completely. And now, more than ever before, I listen for birds. I open the windows. I get still.
  • Natural. Trying out natural deodorant with extreme confidence.
  • Moments with my children. Lucy’s new over-exaggerated laugh as if she is practicing for an upcoming dinner party with an exceptionally dull audience. Felix learning how to use his eyebrow muscles a la Marx Brothers. The longer than usual lounging in beds. The patience for singular activities to last the afternoon, making cookies and bread, construction paper project, and chapter books, included. Witnessing their relationship together, yesterday they found a popcorn kernel left over from a movie night, named Bean. Bean is a new friend who has his own sports car and lives in a coin collection sheet. Great reminder that friends can be found anywhere. Including under the couch.


What is the thorn?

  • Moments with my children. Let’s be real. They are not all like the aforementioned. Facing the challenge every ten minutes to parent appropriately so that they can be proper citizens of the world and not the nagging creatures I am currently encountering.
  • The fear. The fear of the unknown in our world and raising a family within it. The fear of someone being sick.

Things that made her smile? Their eighth grade neighbor making them masks out of extra cloth; a visit by Lucy’s best friend and Dad  — saying hi from the street — and making her smile; a friend preparing them dinner and placing it on the porch before disappearing. 

What’s your rose? Your thorn? Please feel free to email me at thetangledball@gmail.com. And if you have more thorns than roses right now, understood. Share away! We’re in this together.

It may not seem like it at this moment but soon we’ll be talking about the buds (future).