How watching my sons during the pandemic taught me resilience

What natural disasters cost the global economy in 2020. Full story here: The 10 most expensive natural disasters of 2020 — Quartz (

Recovery and resilience in the garden

Recent studies show that following extreme storm events community gardens can supply food, enhance social empowerment, provide safe gathering spots, and restorative practices, to remind people of normality. There is a study that examines the role played by a community garden in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquakes. Findings from this study indicate the garden helped gardeners cope with the post-quake situation.

The garden served as an important place to de-stress, share experiences, and gain community support. As 2020 approaches its end and 2021 begins, it feels as if we’ve been tossed and battered by the equivalent of these crisis-inducing natural phenomena for several months and still counting…

How watching my sons during the pandemic taught me resilience

December marks the 10th month of the Covid-19 pandemic. For a child this can feel like their entire life with no end in sight. For my two sons, nine-year-old Joey and eight-year-old Jackson, the initial transformation from normal to “new normal” did not exactly start out smoothly but turned out to be an unexpected gift. 

“Unknowingly, they were learning the most valuable lesson of their young lives, empathy.”

Karen Osdieck

We–myself, my two sons and my husband, Mark– live in a small town, about an hour outside of Chicago, with farmland interspersed throughout a typical suburban landscape. On a normal day there is not much to do in New Lenox, Illinois, but when you are forbidden from doing everyday activities it feels much more isolating. I have photographed my sons since they were born while working on personal projects about boyhood, so documenting my family during difficult times was not out of the ordinary for them. While visually recording this time felt important to me, the act of taking photos gave us all a small sense of normalcy…

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