When There was a Pandemic and I was OK

What is this life? 

What day is it?

Is 2020 over yet? 

Hey, remember how I sat down (just two months and one day ago) and I wrote about being scared because my husband lost his job but also feeling really supported and uplifted and positive because of the people in my life? That all feels really, really far away. That thing that was going to be the worst thing to happen in 2020. Ha ha. 

Short story: Kyle got a job. He got a job within days of me writing that post actually. In fact, he got more than one job offer and the job he got is a really good job. So we're good there. No unemployment pay for us. 

At the time of Kyle getting a job, I actually thought about how I had interrupted our Disneyland trip recap because it felt like pure insanity to keep talking about Disney trips when our life had imploded but once he had a job it made total sense to go back to carefully detailing our trip-o'-privilege so I could tell you all about how we had to wait really long in a Fastpass line once and it was tough. 

It's not going to happen. Let me just put the blanket statement out that I'm never going to finish telling you about that trip. The trip was fine. It was great. I'm so glad we went. It feels like a million years ago and I've lost all the details and even if I hadn't, I don't feel like I could write about a Disney trip right now but the short story is that we went to Disneyland and it was Disneyland and we Disneylanded. 

Moving on. 

What does a person write about during a pandemic? I actually answered that question for myself right away when I posted a roundup of online educational activities on the defunct mom blog the day after my kids' school district closed. It's a great list. It went a little viral, even, and I still get a fair amount of traffic from it. Don't feel like you have to do the things, though. I didn't do the things. Or I did like two and a half of the things and then I slid hard into "Alexa, homeschool the children" mode and that's where I've been for weeks. 

If you're reading this later and you don't know what I'm talking about, we're in quarantine because of the Coronavirus pandemic and even though our state is slowly reopening, my kids haven't really left our property for about seven weeks.

They aren't completely shut-in. They took a drive once but they didn't get out of the car. We also walk a couple of blocks to the school sometimes but they find it a little depressing to look at the playground equipment they aren't allowed to touch and to see the backsides of all their St. Patrick's Day art stuck up on the windows of the classrooms they didn't know they wouldn't walk back into. I don't know when the teachers will take them down. I guess we'll get a stack of art and other papers when we do our drive-up end-of-school plastic-grocery-bag-of-desk-crap pick-up in a couple of weeks. "No children, please. It's too hard on them and us and everyone." I hear that. 

I don't want to be depressing. I'm not depressed. Bizarrely, our little isolated family is doing pretty OK. We don't socialize that much to begin with, which has only recently become apparent because it took the kids a couple of weeks to realize that we weren't really going out anywhere. Playdates are on my to-do list if the dust ever settles. 

Kyle's new job is something he can do from home so he's camped out in the front room and it's going to be a rotten shock to my system if he ever wants to leave the house to work in an office again. It's such a privilege to have us all here within shouting distance, particularly when we're all so healthy from having no germ contact at all. It's like being on a sitcom. We have our problems but everything is straightened out by the end of the day and nobody ever steps off-stage because off-stage is nothingness. Our world is the size of this living room set. 

And then. 

There is such a fundamental wrongness to the world right now. That we're OK but we know other people aren't OK and they aren't typical bad-stuff-happens-not-OK. They're crisis-out-of-nowhere-not-OK. They're bankruptcy and PPE shortage and rent due and organ failure not OK. I want to be back at Disneyland right now because I want Disneyland to be open and I want the person loading people onto doom buggies to be getting paid for doing that and I want to be able to touch a handrail or a faucet handle or a stranger's arm and not wonder if I didn't just do something terrible I can't take back. To me or to them. 

Why is this holding still so exhausting? 

I'm reading so much. I wasn't and then all of a sudden I remembered that books are a way to get into a time when everything is back in motion and now I can't stop reading. I feel like it's interfering with work and motherhood and the fact that I don't actually know how to make homemade pretzels but I don't care all that much. I'm in rainforests and cathedrals and Stamps, Arkansas. People get sick for all the normal reasons. No dystopian fiction for me, thank you very much. 

I love my kids and I'm glad they're home and I wish they were at school.

I bought two new bags this week. I keep buying things because I'm bored which is definitely one way to manifest a financial crisis where one didn't exist before. There was a sale, though, and a big coupon and I've wanted these forever. If you can, it's a great time to buy things you've wanted forever because everything is on sale because everyone is in trouble. My new bags are adorable but I can't take them anywhere so they're under my bed with the tags on. That's how I feel about April. I couldn't do anything with it so I shoved it under my bed with the tags on. Try again next year, April. You flopped this year. 

I love reading the stories on Humans of New York. I love watching Jon Krasinski. I love seeing what everyone is doing on Instagram and Facebook and Marco Polo. I love that everyone tried to make bread and everyone tried to do kid art projects and now everyone is trying to garden. Your flowers look great. 

I don't miss seeing people but I miss that people could see people without being worried about who is and isn't wearing a face mask. I don't like knowing as much as I do about who thinks having to wear a mask to Costco is fascism and who thinks all Republicans are face-mask free. That's another weird frosting layer of exhausting on top of all the rest. Quarantine is by definition divisive, but man if we haven't taken that as far as we can. 

Social media is as soothing as sunlight and as toxic if I stay too long in those spaces. 

I don't know what I'm adding with this. But I'm here and Kyle is working and I made free coloring pages that a thousand people (literally!) have downloaded because sometimes you just have to color birds and beetles.

Let's talk soon and hopefully not about this...

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