My family and I moved across states at the beginning of 2020. This was a pre-pandemic choice we had made in pursuit of a lifestyle change, but the timing turned out to be wild—we closed on our new home the exact day lockdown started in our new state, changing daily life as we knew it.

So we've spent the year resettling, surviving together and adjusting to this new normal like the rest of the world. (Oh, and welcoming a surprise pregnancy ! But that's another story).

So time has felt slippery. When we moved here, my son had just turned five and my daughter was one-and-a-half, still very much our baby—sleeping in a crib and needing help climbing up the stairs in our new house. Scrub through to the end of 2020, and she's two: Now managing to keep right up with her brother and sleep in a big girl bed. She has somehow sprouted into a little kid through this surreal motion blur of a year.

I tear up a bit when I think of how well she and her brother have coped through all of the small disappointments and weirdness. Through mastering hand-washing moves and masks to canceled trips and playdates, remote kindergarten and navigating life with two parents working full-time from home. I had big plans for our social lives when we moved here, including getting both kiddos involved in some fun group activities and sports to get involved in our new community. Most of these plans have since been put on hold while we keep it close to home, trying to keep each other safe.


So when I signed my little girl up for BumoBrain's virtual 'Movers and Shakers' music and movement class , I wasn't sure what to expect or if it'd be worth it. I'm always hesitant to usher in more screen time at her tender age, but loved the idea of it having a physical component for cooped-up winter days. It also helped relieve the slight pangs of guilt and regret I felt when I realized we still hadn't done anything like this for her yet—taken a class *just* for her. (Second child problems).

We logged into her Zoom-hosted class and within a few minutes, I watched her slowly light up. The class was small, about six students, with a live teacher guiding the kiddos through some songs and movement and a bit of a cartoon scavenger hunt involving letters and numbers. The first time the teacher called my daughter by name, I witnessed the cutest earnest reaction from her— she was delighted. She was shaking maracas, pointing at the other little ones on screen, and dancing with me for the whole class. By the end, I was singing along with her and snuggling her on my lap, grateful for this (decidedly 2020) micro bonding moment.

I've really looked forward to the subsequent classes. It's a quick half-hour, just enough time for her young attention span and my lunch break from work. Though I'd love it if I could be taking her to a class IRL, this is the next best thing. The fact that the classes are small and the teachers make great efforts to call the children by name and personally interact with them makes a big difference. And it's served as a great reminder that it doesn't take much for our children to feel seen and engaged. With the life shuffle made necessary by this pandemic year, I know my children have often found themselves along for the ride. And it feels really great to have this small moment just for her. It may look different than I'd imagined, but it's a tiny win I'm grateful for. And a healthy reminder (for she and I both!) that there are still ways to find moments of sincere connection in the world beyond our four walls.

Bumo Brain is about to start up its second Winter Session. With age-specific classes and unplugged activities that encourage creativity, critical thinking, movement, and exploration starting at $49 a month, it's the perfect way to get through the cold days ahead.

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BümoBrain is about to start up its second Winter Session on January 11th. With age-specific classes and unplugged activities that encourage creativity, critical thinking, movement, and exploration starting at $49 a month, it's the perfect way to get through the cold days ahead.

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