“I’m seven!” Harrison Smith enthusiastically stated before he nailed each picture with his sweet smile. The Smith family’s profile offers a snapshot of their pandemic lifestyle — from Mario Kart nights and virtual summer camp to all the travel they’ve put on hold. One trip they didn’t have to postpone? A grab-and-go visit to Hurts Donut after the shoot.   

What is your favorite Little Rock place to visit? 

We like to visit the Museum of Discovery. We have a family membership which makes it very easy to pop in for a short visit whenever we are close by. Harrison loves building things and the hands-on activities in the Tinkering Studio.

What is your kids’ favorite local restaurant? If you can leave the kids at home, what would you pick? 

Harrison's favorite place is Chick-fil-A, mainly for the ice cream. Us parents enjoy Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe in the River Market and we like to order a mixed grill and variety of empanadas.

What is the most interesting way you’ve spent family time during quarantine? 

We love Mario Kart Racing family game nights. Harrison likes to think he is the best, but April doesn't go easy on him. “Just one more race" tends to happen quite often.

What is the silliest thing your kids have fought about? How have sibling dynamics changed (for good or bad)? 

No siblings, but there was some Candyland drama with his cousin Laina. We also welcomed a new baby cousin, Miles, born in August.

How have you enjoyed “taking a pause”? 

We have enjoyed spending more time together without having to worry about late work nights or soccer practices.

What’s the first thing you’ll do as a family when restrictions ease? 

We would like to travel to see extended family. We have family all over from Little Rock to Hot Springs and Dallas, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota. We had wanted to visit Minnesota for the first time this summer but those plans had to change.

Have you had to cancel any trips or parties? Did you do anything to replace those events?  

We have had to postpone our trip to Seoul, South Korea to visit Harrison's foster family twice. We still have tentative plans to try again in November if travel conditions return to normal. Our backup plan trip to see Harrison's uncle in Minnesota had to be pushed back as well. Our annual summer trip to Tulsa for Harrison to attend Korean Heritage Camp turned to a virtual experience at home. We have been able to participate in several drive-by birthdays and celebrations over the past few months which were nice to be out and see familiar faces.

How did you balance working from home and virtual school (if applicable)?

We set a schedule of work, play and snack time. Harrison was committed to that schedule everyday and reminded us when the adults did not follow it.

What’s your biggest hope (and fear) for the coming school year? 

April and Harrison hope to return to school to see their students and friends when it is safe to do so.

Have you found any helpful language to talk to your kids about the pandemic? To help with fears, better hygiene or mask wearing (for example)? 

We are open and honest with him and any questions he may have. Harrison has had several questions about geography. He hears on the news about where cases are happening and is very interested in knowing where those places are compared to Arkansas. We did speak with him about him being Asian and some people being unkind to Asian people during this time but thankfully, we are surrounded by loving family and educated friends so he has not run into any issues. April also made Harrison a Star Wars mask that he is very proud to show it off.