How we got over…

The phrase, how I got over, comes from an old Mahalia Jackson song. Check out some of the lyrics:

How I got over? (How I got over)
How I got over? (How I got over)
You know my soul look back and wonder
How I made it over?

Last night Samantha and I watched a documentary on Michelle Obama’s transformational legacy as the nation’s first black lady, aka our forever first lady. We were reminded of just how hard it must have been to be the first to take on such a publicly demanding role. Yet, she carried herself with class and dignity, and represented the best of us. As I inevitably do, I started thinking of my own girls, and what it means for them to have witnessed in their lifetime such an important milestone. That then got me thinking about just milestones in general, and before I knew it, I was off the races daydreaming about the future before it already happened. What brought me back to the present was the reminder of what I’ve learned this year: that right now, in this present moment, we’re living through a milestone. Don’t miss it.

If anything, 2020 has been all about milestones for us as a family (and as a country). We joke about wanting to throw the entire year in the trash, but truth be told, there have been some important milestones worth remembering. I’ve taken it upon myself to create a video each month of 2020 capturing what’s been going on with our family at various stages of the year, what we’ve learned, how we’ve struggled, and how we’ve grown. At the end of each month our family sits down and together we watch the premiere of our “month in review” video. It’s quite amazing to sit back and see some of the milestones.

Some of my favorite milestones over the past few months have come with close friends that we’ve chosen to “quaranteam” with. These milestones have been memories of summer night fireworks, riding bikes in the street screaming, “you’ll never be ready, merge!” Or roasting marshmellows around a backyard campfire. They’ve also come as a result of the completion of projects that we’d put off for years, and now suddenly when we needed something to fill a void, these projects came in handy. This is how we came to build a playset in our yard, built bunk-beds for the littles, built a set of stairs in our backyard, countless indoor projects, and are now finishing up building a fire-pit (shout out to the Tucks for inspiring us on that one!). Also- most of this is due to the ingenuity of my wife Samantha who loves these types of hands on projects.

There’s something about seeing a project through to completion, that sense of accomplishment that has given us a sense of purpose in these trying times. Family projects for us have been milestones that we can control and even engineer wins from, reminding the girls that we always have some degree of agency in our lives. My pastor likes to remind us about parenting, the days are long, but the years are short. The milestones, that’s what they’ll remember. My hope is that they also remember how we got over, in 2020.


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