Last night my husband stayed up until 2am waiting to hear the school board vote on our district’s plan for the upcoming school year. I went to bed early. I didn’t sleep, obviously. The suspense, the what-ifs, the fact that either way the plan is not ideal.
So much has happened and changed in our worlds since March. I vividly remember being at a photoshoot with Alison where she told me that our mutual friend who is a nurse predicted the schools would be cancelled by the end of that week. I laughed it off. Sure enough, school was called off that Friday and we never went back.
In the beginning of quarantine I was a really good quarantine mom. I did crafts with my kids. I planned cute little activities. We had picnic lunches outside. I woke up before my kids to work. I pretended doing endless laundry was fun by listening to podcasts to pass the time. Basically #crushingit
Three weeks in, someone was crying every day. Including myself. At-home learning got the best of us. I’m pretty sure the only knowledge my kids retained from that time is that their mom isn’t a good teacher even though she used to be one. They liked to call that one out. Frustrations were at an all time high. I would be rich if I had a dime for every time I said, “Would you talk to your teacher like that?!”
Now almost four months later, we are in this limbo-life mode. Sort of doing things, albiet very cautiously. Or maybe not cautiously enough? Who even really knows. These are just some random thoughts of a mom during a pandemic…..
I remember the first time I went into a grocery store. Wearing a mask felt so weird. Now it feels so weird NOT wearing one. Mask-fashion, mask-ne… these are now things. How? Why? Is this even real life?
I worry that my kids are going to start to go crazy if they don’t get to see their friends during the school year. Or ever. When was the last time a kid that was not my own was even in my house? Will my kids forget how to socialize? Is fort nite social? Is fortnite one word or two? Why do I even care? I hate that game.
I know that my kids have been playing way too many video games. That’s it. I’m banning them for a week. Ok maybe a day. Ok maybe just one hour per day because I REALLY, really just want them to be good and quiet for a small fraction of the day. Ugh, but I think the video games make them mean and they fight. That’s it. DONE. Gone. Only three hours per day kids depending on my mood and your moods and this is all subject to change at every minute. Oh wait, what’s that I hear? My kids talking to other kids through their headsets. Ok phew, I’m not the only parent letting their kids play too many video games.
I love the slowed down life. The drinks on a porch on a Tuesday.
Oh crap. Why did I have drinks on a Tuesday? Because it’s quarantine. It’s summer. YOU HAVE LITERALLY NOTHNG ELSE TO DO. Ugh, I need to just stop having drinks on a Tuesday.
I’m scared I have coronavirus. Is that humid air or am I short of breath? Phew. I can hold my breath for 10 seconds. Hard swallow. My throat. I think it hurts. Is that a symptom? It might be. But if I have coronavirus my husband probably does too. He seems fine. Should I ask him if he is ok? What if he says he’s not? What if we are not? What if we get it and I have to remember all of the people we have seen and tell them? What if I get someone sick? What if I get really sick? I bet I would get the worst case scenario. Damn it, Lindsey. Just don’t go anywhere EVER and you won’t have to worry about being sick.
I can’t stay in my house all day. My kids can’t stay in the house all day. But maybe this will make them closer. Thank goodness they have each other to play with. Why do they fight so much? Don’t they realize they have each other and some kids are all by themselves with no one to play with? Why can’t they just be freaking grateful for each other.
I love that we are not running from activity to activity every single evening. Saturday mornings are lazy. Sunday too. We eat dinner together more than we ever have. Like ever. The realization that life before was way too chaotic and if nothing else this has served as a wake up call. I think a lot about other families and how many of them are getting so much more bonus time with their kids who may have moved out and are now back home. It makes me smile. So much has been taken away, but we are getting so much more of what really matters.
It’s so freaking weird watching other people touch on tv. It’s weird that I think it’s weird that there was a time when other people could touch and be in the same room and hug and high five and that was normal. Will we ever be normal again? I watch my four year old proactively avoid people who walk too close to him. He puts his face in his shirt. Will he ever get over this?
I need to stop worrying about the kids. Kids are resilient. They will be fine. This is just a blip. The scientists are going create a vaccine and before we know it this will just be a distant memory. Ugh, I am so thankful for scientists and doctors and healthcare workers… I hope they are close. I hope the vaccine works. Will they be able to get the vaccine at the same time as the flu shot? Will it be ok to get both at the same time? Lindsey. You know nothing about medicine. Surely the doctors are testing everything and thinking of everything. Have faith. Breathe.
I’m anxious. I’m not anxious. Why am I not anxious? What if I get anxious?
Why? Why do my kids eat so much? When did breakfast-dessert and lunch-dessert become a thing? Should I get a lock for the pantry? They definitely need to move more. I’ll take them all on a bike ride today. They will complain it’s too hot. It is so unbelievably hot. But thank GOD it’s hot and not cold. What if all of this happened during the winter? OMG it might happen during the winter. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS WINTER? I think I might cry. What if it’s too cold to go outside and we can’t go anywhere and we all get weirder and crazier and I have to teach my kids and they keep complaing they are hungry the whole time because they didn’t have a breakfast-dessert. That’s it. I am definitely getting a pantry lock.
And now I’m hungry. What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? What I am I the ONLY person in this house who has the answers to these questions? What should I have for my own damn lunch-dessert? Who invented sea salt caramels? Why are they so good? Why do I keep buying them? Is anyone listening or just my sea salt caramel?
Maybe I should go for a run. Running is safe. Running is the most amazing escape. Maybe if I tire myself out I will sleep better. Jk nothing helps with that. Is it safe to run behind someone? What if I breathe in their germs? Should I hold my breath when I pass someone? Maybe I just shouldn’t run. No. Running is good for my lungs. Just. Keep. Running.
Oo oo ooo! I have all this extra time to organize. By the end of this I will have every nook and cranny completely organized. Oh wait, I am the worst at organizing. Clearly you know already know that if you’ve seen me fold a fitted sheet. Why do we have so much crap? Can I hire someone to organize for me? Oh, right. No one can come in my house. Screw organizing. Two words: Online Shopping. How amazing is this cardigan. Three more words: In my cart.
I think I am happy with our school’s plan? The kids will go in every other day and the younger kids will go every day for half a day or something like that. Why are these plans so confusing to read? Just tell me what do to? Do I need to pack lunch every day? Do I need to drive them to school every day? Do they need to arrive in space suits?
But what if I can’t do it all? What if the Governor says we are in the red zone again and schools are all at home? Do I need to hire a tutor? Can I organize a learning pod in our neighborhood? Crap. Why did I tell so many people about my plan to find a tutor? What if there are no tutors left? OMG what about the kids who have parents who both work and can’t afford a tutor and this just exaggerates the education gap. WTF are we all supposed to do? What do you think? What do YOU think? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I need to remember to breathe. To stay present. Not to speculate and to trust that whatever decision we make for ourselves and our kids is okay. Pivoting is ok. Changing your mind is ok. Does anybody even know what is right or wrong anymore? In through the nose, 1, 2, 3. Hold. Out through the mouth 2, 3, 4. Hold.
I can breathe.
This is life.
Weird, crazy, beautiful life.