Dear Kids: Part I

I haven’t been blogging much lately.

Blogging was something I did “before.” It doesn’t feel like something I do “after” — at least, not yet. Not while the world is still on fire. I almost can’t bring myself to look at this 12+ year archive sometimes, written at different times in my life but all of those times are so, so different than what we’re dealing with now.

I haven’t been blogging or DIYing, but I am always, always writing. I have been focusing on my work (blessedly almost back to normal levels) as well as writing my novel (I’m up to 124,000+ words and getting so close). And sometimes I write random notes on my phone that eventually turn into blog posts. Like this.

Here is a note I wrote back in April. Let’s call it Part I …

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Dear kids,

I checked your toes and fingers today for purplish lesions. It’s the latest possible symptom of the virus that’s keeping us locked inside, away from school and activities and friends.

I know I should stop reading articles about symptoms and risk factors because they terrify me, but if I stopped I’d worry I might miss something — a warning sign that meant you were sick with “it,” with “the virus,” with the thing I try not to say out loud.

I wonder what you’re remembering about this time, this pandemic, if you read this post in the future.

I know you won’t remember what you didn’t see, like me creeping into your bedrooms at night to make sure you were breathing. To make sure the virus hadn’t somehow stolen you away from me, just because you had a bit of a cough. Silent tears rolling down into my hair, berating myself for not getting refills on the old puffers you’d bad for previous coughs, just in case they would help right now because something HAD to help, right?!

Will you remember how I went crazy buying different kinds of cough syrup, because that’s what they recommended we do in the beginning? And Tylenol — all the Tylenol — because Advil might kill us or something. That was in March, maybe early April.

Oh, and the food. When it became difficult to get things at the grocery store, I went a little nuts stockpiling some basics in a few bags in the basement — crackers, cereal, juice, applesauce, pasta, canned goods. You found it. Mom’s Basement Food, you called it. You thought it was weird and kind of funny. I told you it was because I couldn’t fit it all up in the kitchen, but really it was my secret, scared stash. The food I reasoned we might need if the shelves were bare, in a world where our poor little Superstore was full of smoke and looters and screams.

But wait, you might be asking, food shortages? The whole world shutdown? HOW many people died?! Let me go back to the beginning.

Read More

On sneakers … and closure

Our son and daughter are returning to their elementary school in a couple of weeks … but just for a few minutes.

We just received a long, multi-page plan of how each student (or parent) will be picking up their belongings and dropping off any school property. It’s been organized with military-level precision.

It made me burst into tears.

Each class has its own time slot — two teachers at a time, one set up in the cafeteria, with another set up in the gym. You must arrive during your class’s designated hour. Only three people and two staff members can be inside at any given point (social distancing, of course). Enter through this door, exit through that one.

Continue reading in my parenting column, The Mom Scene …

School’s not happening so now what?

Five and a half months.

That’s how long our kids will be out of school, assuming things re-start in September — and a September start is the one true, beautiful thing I refuse to stop believing in, so don’t burst my bubble.

I wasn’t surprised when they made the announcement that our kids wouldn’t be going back to school this year. (Although I would have gladly sent them if I’d had the option.) I had already told myself, weeks ago, to expect absolutely nothing in order to prevent further crushing disappointments.

Even so, once it was official — that there would be no return to school this term, and homeschooling would end June 5 — it was pretty depressing.

Continue reading in my parenting column, The Mom Scene …