Right now, the world feels a little frightening. Schools, restaurants and life as it was have come to a halt. Panic over COVID-19 is sweeping through the country.

I admit, the idea that I should cancel all my plans over a doomful virus from across the world is something I might have once rolled my eyes at. And an entire societal shutdown over it all is something I might have scoffed at.

But it’s funny how things change after you become a mom.

Where I was once nonchalant I find myself nervous. Where I was once self-centered, I can’t help but now think of someone else.

As parents, it’s our instinct to protect our children. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to shield my son from sickness or turmoil. So in the midst of this crisis, I feel a bit helpless. The mom in me feels uncertain; the world feels scary and heavy.

But all that’s lost on my Max. My son has been unflappable in the wake of coronavirus, of course, because he’s two. Blissfully unaware of the current events, his to-do list of Lego building, pine cone collecting, and Daniel Tiger-watching remains unchanged. Steady and unwavering, his playfulness is the reminder I need: that a giggle is the antidote to unease.

Indeed, as parents it’s our job to teach our children about life, but, really, they teach us what life is about. There is wisdom in the simple way they look at the world. When big, scary things are weighing on our minds, let’s not forget to enjoy the little things.