This is a strange Mother's Day. For millions of us, there'll be no special brunches, no visits to extended family. We'll be home.
We'll be home because there are brave essential workers in our world saving lives, delivering packages, checking out our groceries. They are masked superheroes.
There's also another kind of essential worker in many homes with kids: Mom.
Right now, in addition to everything else she used to be, she's teacher, cook, arts & crafts guru, hand-washing czar. And on top of that, she's still "Mom" – the one who hugs you, the one to cry to, who scratches your back and worries about you.
I think of all the moms I know, getting up each day knowing it will be basically the same as yesterday, but nevertheless scheming ways to inject joy into their kids' lives: The impromptu dance party, the thumbs-up to living rooms being turned into obstacle courses, pancakes for dinner, PJs for "school."
I think about the text chains I'm on – moms checking in with each other, sharing home learning fails, such as this, in which my kindergartener wrote her favorite food:
Our children's lives contracted unfathomably fast, and while our kids may feel virtually connected to the outside, it's parents who are truly providing their world. It's a lot; it's a challenge; it's a gift.
Did I mention this is hard?
I'm no hero. A lot of us consider the day a win if we don't yell at the kids and remember to change our leggings, if we make our kids laugh, just keep the world spinning.
Here in New York, we have the 7 p.m. clap. We lean out of our apartment windows to bang on pots and pans and cheer for essential workers.
Today: a standing ovation for moms everywhere, essential workers of the soul.
Story produced by Aria Shavelson. Editor: Chad Cardin.