Our 2020 Sendoff
Author, podcaster, and philanthropist Nora McInerny says, “We don’t ‘move on’ from grief. We move forward with it.” While most of us have confronted grief in some capacity prior to this year, for many of us this was the first time we’ve dealt with both individual and collective grief on such a massive global scale.
We’re not therapists or experts on the grieving process, but here’s what we do know, a truth that has been reinforced again and again in 2020: hope and grief can coexist. In fact, sometimes our most profound moments of hope show up during times of our most intense grief.
So as we “move forward” into 2021 together, we want to take a minute and reflect on what this year has brought us, what we were able to do even amidst our inability to do so much, and the baby steps that should be celebrated.
2020 Parenting Wins
Even if you feel like you achieved almost nothing this year, we’re toasting you. Why? Because the mere fact that you made it here, with the ability to read this blog, is a huge win. 2020 was relentless. And we know parents rarely get a pat on the back for simply just surviving, so let’s start with some congratulations where it’s due. You’re here. Cheers!
Now, what milestones did your kids hit this year — whether traditional or non-traditional? Did they learn some new words even when they weren’t getting to socialize with peers as much? Did they learn how to recognize Grandma on Zoom? Did they get really good at putting that mask on in the car? Did you manage to include one more healthy food on the limited list of things your picky child will eat? Is your newborn finally sleeping through the night? Did your toddler get potty trained or even start their potty training process? Heck, if your kid only managed to pee in the toilet once, we’re still celebrating you!
What about any wins that came from being around your kiddos more than usual? During this time of social isolation, did you notice more details in the developmental journey than you might have noticed otherwise? Did you have any simple, sweet moments while playing outside or coloring, where you appreciated your children as the remarkable little human beings they are? Keeping your kids fed and clothed through 2020 is a feat in itself, so if they were also educated, entertained, and nurtured on top of that, consider yourself a real-life superhero.
Our Shared Resiliency
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the way the world pivoted in 2020. Just look at the way families or workplace teams found creative solutions to stay connected and even productive. Did you attend a Zoom graduation or wedding or holiday party? Did your child attend a virtual classroom? Of course, it was far from perfect or ideal, but let’s shout out those who did everything they could to keep “normal” life going forward in some way.
And acknowledging the way humanity stepped up through immense pain and tragedy is important. Like all those who sewed handmade masks for the frontline workers when there were supply shortages. Or those who bought from local stores simply to help their community out. Or those who adopted pets from the shelters or chose to foster cats or dogs.
People did a ton of helping and giving and serving this year, and that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Communities banded together and lifted each other up. Support groups and virtual clubs formed. Hope and grief coexisted. And we learned a lot as a society, growing more emotionally intelligent and mentally stronger through the pandemic. (And look, we didn’t lose Tom Hanks, so there’s that too!)
Parasol’s Year in Review
We also want to mention what’s been happening on our end this year. Due to supply chain interruptions, our Parasol family wasn't able to contribute nearly as many direct product donations as the previous two years, and for a time there were diaper shortages for some of our customers. But Jessica Hung, Parasol's CEO, knows the importance of celebrating the team’s effort and all of our wins during this challenging year, so here goes:
With your help, Parasol donated to 32 charity organizations in 2020. The CDC Foundation, CHOC Children's Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Hoag Hospital were just a couple of the 11 frontline medical organizations we contributed to. The other 21 humanitarian organizations included the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Feeding America, Direct Relief, and CARE USA, to name a few.
Parasol also made direct product donations, including 89,262 diapers, 250 packs (or 15,000 units) of wipes, and 5,000 face masks. While this number was a fraction of what we were able to donate in 2018 and 2019, we’re proud that even with supply disruptions, we could get some necessary personal care products to families who needed them.
2021 and Beyond
None of us knows what’s coming down the pike. Even with a COVID-19 vaccine, we could be far from the end of this global pandemic. But as we move forward into 2021 a little older and a lot wiser, we’re learning how to celebrate more than just the big achievements. We’re slowing down and appreciating the small wins a lot more. And that feels good. Let’s keep doing that.
We may be wrapping up 2020 in just a few days, but we hope you’ll take some time this final week of the year to congratulate yourself and your family for all you’ve made it through. We’re toasting you, mamas and papas, for absolutely crushing it during this incredibly trying year. Happy New Year, and we’ll catch you on the other side...