My name is Rita. I am an entrepreneur, a home cook, a dog lover and, most importantly, a mom to two beautiful girls.
Being a parent in today’s world is tricky enough. Add a once-in-a-century global pandemic to the mix, and the job becomes downright scary. Like many (most) of you, the Covid pandemic threw me for a complete loop. Between figuring out zoom school and our “pod,” tracking down flour and toilet paper across town and prepping three meals a day for a family of four every day, I began seeking resources that would support me in guiding my two young daughters through this strange time—anything that would give me the right words to say to make this situation easier for my kids to understand. I wanted them to understand how serious it was so that things like wearing a mask wouldn’t come with such a fight, while making the best out of this strange time during their childhood.
It dawned on me during my search that for so many families, like those with a sick child or parent, these types of conversations have to happen all the time. And because kids think about things so differently than we do – isolating with my kids for more than a year made that abundantly clear – the words we use (and don’t use) can have a huge impact on how they perceive and how they cope.
Long story short, it was difficult to find the information I was looking for. The resources are scattered and sometimes contradictory. While there are many child life specialists, pediatricians, and psychologists who are passionate and knowledgeable about all things kids, it was difficult to find and connect with them to get the support my family needed.
So I decided to do something about it. While some people reorganized their homes, learned how to bake or play a musical instrument during the long months of quarantine, I began nerding out by talking to child life specialists and early childhood educators. Though I am not myself an expert, I am definitely a convener, and I believe that if we can build a village made up of families, caretakers, storytellers, and specialists, we can create an environment where every adult is equipped to guide their children through the challenging experiences they will inevitably face as they grow, and every child can face these experiences with less hesitation and more confidence.
Welcome to the Piper + Enza community. We can’t wait to share more with you.
Rita Ho-Bezzola is the founder and chief wheel spinner at Piper + Enza.