By Emily Drooby
BAY RIDGE — Heading outdoors to play with their children used to be something the Meehan family did without any thought at all. Now, they all wear masks as they play outside their Bay Ridge, Brooklyn home — just one of many obvious effects of the pandemic.
It is also one example of how changes during current times can be confusing for children.
“It’s more different than the way it was a long time ago,” 5-year-old Sofie Meehan told Currents News.
Sofie really noticed the change on her fifth birthday when, instead of a classic birthday party, it was celebrated with a car parade.
To help kids like Sofie understand what’s going on around them, her mom, Kristen, decided to write a book explaining the pandemic to children.
“The kids had so many questions about what’s going on and why is this all happening, that I feel like a book was the perfect way to explain that,” Kristen explained.
She’s tackling questions about topics like masks and closed schools and how to talk to kids about the pandemic, which has been a tough job for many parents.
Kristen named her 24-page book “This Is Not Forever” — a title that is meant to project hope.
The Catholic woman is using her background as a mom and a public school teacher to educate children and help parents.
“They really do understand a lot, but there’s a very delicate balance between giving them the information and not scaring them,” Kristen said. “I feel like this book was a good balance of that, to give a little bit of information, but also to give that comfort that things are going to be okay and this is not forever, and we will go to grandma’s house soon.”
Kristen wrote and illustrated the book in just three weeks and has already sold about 500 copies. She is donating some of the proceeds to the Robin Hood Foundation, which supports vulnerable New Yorkers.