This Mother’s Day will hold more meaning for some, as vaccinated relatives reunite after a year of absence and families honor the matriarchs who kept their spirits up through the coronavirus pandemic.
Seaford mother Danielle Scopinich says that she could have not gotten through the pandemic without her daughter Ava. She recently wrote a children’s book called “Simply Magic” about her relationship with Ava, 8, a second-grade student at Seaford Harbor Elementary School.
The story follows a young girl who wants to be a superhero. When she asks everyone around her if she has any superhuman talents, her mom tells her that her superpower is her smile, “because it gets me through the toughest days,” Scopinich said.
Scopinich has a master’s degree in education and a passion for writing and photography. When her daughter was born, she said, she put her career goals aside to be a stay-at-home mom. She was planning to write a children’s book for years and started it recently. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and that motivated her to finish it.
“I wanted to do something that I could be proud of during this trying time,” she said. “And I wanted to leave something behind for my daughter for when I’m no longer here. She’s my only child and, of course, the center of my universe.”
Scopinich connected online with Joan Coleman, a children’s book illustrator from Oregon, who illustrated “Simply Magic.” The self-published book is currently on sale on Amazon and is available for checkout at the Seaford Public Library. “It’s our favorite place to go together, so we’re very excited that families could take it out there,” Scopinich said.
Mother and daughter have frequently attended the library’s virtual programs on Zoom, including baking, arts and crafts and yoga classes.
“We’re hoping, by September, to have in-person programs again,” said Ida Zaharopoulas, the facility’s head librarian. “As more and more people are vaccinated, we’re getting closer and closer to getting out of this.”
Scopinich’s husband, Steven, is a New York City Police Department sergeant who works in Queens. He has worked constantly through the pandemic, she said, and was diagnosed with Covid-19 in December. “Other than that, the isolation was the worst part of the pandemic,” Danielle said. “But it gave us more time together, and brought us closer as a family.”
Ava is also a dancer at Christina’s Dance Unlimited in Wantagh, is training to join the competitive swim team at the Goldfish Swim School in Wantagh and takes roller skating lessons at United Skates in Seaford.
“She’s my inspiration and the reason for everything I do,” her mother said. “She has gotten me through the pandemic with her smile.”
Danielle and Steven will celebrate their wedding anniversary on Mother’s Day, and he planned to take off the day off and spend it with his family.