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This is admittedly not the best time to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Sheltering-in-place and social distancing are not exactly conducive to celebration. Restaurants and other businesses are closed, and the forecast calls for mild temperatures but winds blowing 15-25 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

Not great.

But if we must remain home for much of the day, I’d like to point out that much of the joy in our home these days is a direct result of Elysha’s intervention.

Our two cats, for example, bring all of us enormous joy every day. Last night Charlie spent 30 minutes running around the house and laughing hysterically while playing with Tobi, who oftentimes behaves like Charlie’s little brother. Both cats provide Clara with a bounty of distraction when she is supposed to be completing her school work, and when the cats pile onto Elysha or myself at the end of the day and fall asleep, there is nothing better.

They would not be here without Elysha. When I resisted, she persisted. We’re all so lucky that she did.

Elysha has been baking and cooking incessantly ever since the quarantine began. This past week she made bagels – two different recipes – but we’ve also enjoyed several kinds of breads, cookies, a variety of soups, and much more. Clara baked her first cake alongside Elysha, and we’ve had the opportunity to delivery these baked goods to neighbors, friends, and even Charlie’s teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. Seemingly small acts, but in these difficult times, the opportunity to drop off cookies or a bread to a friend and watch them smile has been an amazing addition to our lives.

Elysha is also staying busy. Since we began sheltering in place, she has knit herself a hat, sewed masks for the family and others, and is currently knitting herself a sweater. Watching her stay busy, making things, has been so good for the rest of us. She will deny it, but there is a direct connection between the sweater she is knitting and the drawing that our children are doing, the paper houses that Clara is building, and even the hospitals and secret lairs that Charlie is building in Minecraft.

Even during this pandemic, we are not watching much television. Far less than the average American household. Part of this is because we have a role model in our home, reminding us that making things is the best way to spend your time.

Just this week, Elysha bought a bird feeder and hung it off a tree branch just outside our living room. It’s a small thing, but for all of us – the cats included – it’s been such a joy. We watch as birds visit our feeder, just a few feet away, and nibble at our offerings. Yesterday Elysha and I watched a bird take seeds from the feeder, drop to the ground where another bird was waiting, and offer the seeds from one beak to another.

It was a perfect metaphor for all that Elysha has done for our family to make this time at home a little easier and a lot more fun.

Little things. Important things. The kinds of things for which she would deflect credit, but the kinds of things were credit is wholly and fully deserved.

This might not be the best Mother’s Day ever. We may not visit family or enjoy brunch in her favorite restaurant or visit an art museum, but we will be together, in a home filled with happiness and joy because of her.

She deserves a much better Mother’s Day than what our world can currently offer.

Next year we’ll be sure to make it so.