The goddesses have blessed me with a quiet moment at 7:14am with my cup of coffee, chirping birds, and two sleeping children.
The sun sneaks through the north-facing bay window of my dining room at this time of year at this time of the morning, for only a few weeks. I’m always really conscious of this- I keep track of splashes of sunlight in unusual locations, sometimes due to a reflection. The angles of the sun orient me. Today it feels like the sun is going to revolve around our house, filling it with light and warmth, and very welcome after two days of chilly rain.
Oh, friends. What a time. As nature does its spring bloom explosion and celebration of birth and life and rebirth, the air is clear and the streets are quiet. And, behind closed doors, humans are suffering everywhere. In more ways than I can even imagine. From loss of life to loss of livelihoods to loss of control, sanity, confidence, faith. It’s so hard to get any perspective on it because we’re in it and we each have our individual epic battle to fight. But it’s out there, churning, evolving, charging ahead into a future full of unknowns.
Meanwhile, we do our days. I remember times in life when I had something really big to look forward to, when I was counting the days until it happened, like reuniting with a long-distance boyfriend. It would be a time period like 3.5 weeks. I wanted it to fly. I wanted it to disappear. I wanted to shortcut ahead to the reunion- those weeks were drudgery. But I knew, even then, in the back of my mind, that those were days and weeks of my life, and I should never wish them away. I also knew that my time with the boyfriend would be fleeting and that the relationship itself was impermanent and nothing is more valuable than my time on this Earth. I was wise! Even though I was impatient and frustrated.
I really feel that now. Obviously we’re so limited compared to the endless options of our previous times. But it’s still our life. It’s still our kids’ lives. We didn’t actually go on pause.
We were on a Zoom call yesterday with C’s Montessori teachers and C basically never stopped talking, telling them in paragraphs all about the train she was playing with, connecting phrases (often incorrectly) with “so,” and “because,” and “but.” They were wide-eyed and exclaimed at her language development in these seven weeks. We might be sheltering in place, but this two-year-old will keep on growing. Maybe she can’t hug her favorite teacher or bounce around with other two-year-olds, but she is learning a lot. Her development adapts and finds its way.
E has probably built 50 different forts in the living room since we’ve been at home- and they’re not your run-of-the-mill roof and four walls. They’ve got tunnels and secret exits and surprising hallways and a side-cave for C. He needs prodding to do his virtual school work but he will build and build and build- pillows, Magnatiles, legos. He’s constantly honing his technique and bringing in new ideas. This is a different type of education and it continues.
And how about me? Sigh! I knew that motherhood would be a giant exercise in multi-tasking but never imagined this extreme merger of parenting, work, and whatever tiny threads of self-care I can weave in. Yes, I’m getting better at it, though there are good days and rough days. Eventually, when I can compartmentalize work and family again, I will have laser focus and be hyper-productive. I’ll get my job done in three hours a day. I’ll build in exercise and all kinds of self-care. I’ll know what’s the most important thing to get done. I will meal plan to the moon and back. I’m sure of this. My brain is going through its own transformation to handle this time, and while it’s hard and brings little to no relaxation, I’m learning the tricks.
We did have a relaxing moment last night, totally organically, which is how they probably have to happen. We had gone on a failure of a walk around the block, starting at 5:15pm in 48 degree rain, with E on his scooter and C on a little car and everyone complained and cried the entire time until I was pushed to my limit and unleashed the sarcasm (“I’m SO GLAD this walk was such a GREAT opportunity for FRESH AIR and EXERCISE and FAMILY BONDING”) and we kind of limped home with E crying about his freezing hands and me carrying C and the car. I threw together a dinner of leftover turkey burgers, leftover rice, roasted broccoli, and corn on the cob, which turned out perfect–and we had classic jazz playing on Alexa, which kind of chilled everyone out.
I gave them mango for dessert and pretty quickly cleaned up the kitchen. I heated up some hot water and lemon and sat down with them where they’d gotten into doing puzzles spread out all over the floor. It was like 7:40pm. We were calm. We were engaged. I wasn’t rushing to finish something to get to the next step of the day. We finished three or four little puzzles, all of which were missing a few pieces. It was still immensely satisfying. I hate to put another thing on my list of things to do, but I want to let go of the daily upkeep sometimes and get more into the present moment with my kids. Because that’s where they are and I don’t want to miss it.
And with that, friends, I have completed a blog post with no one waking up. I leave you with this idea to chew on (as I do the same): how will you continue to live your life, your precious days, in spite of everything? Or maybe inspired by everything? I’m not talking about what we’ll do “when this is over”–I mean right now.
I’m sending you moments of peace and a whole lotta love. xoxo