When our daughter started planning a huge slumber party to celebrate her eighth birthday, we never imagined it would have to be postponed indefinitely because no one could leave their homes or go to school — let alone squish into a single room together.
She cried at first, already devastated by how much she missed her teachers and friends. She cried again when she realized we also couldn’t have our usual 20-person family party with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
It’s lunchtime as I type this. It was supposed to be rainy/snowy today, but the sun is shining. The kids did their schoolwork this morning, and they’re going to go outside to play as soon as they’re done eating.
It terrifies me.
It was just another day in this shitty new pandemic life we’re all living. The kids did their schoolwork in the morning. They ate lunch, and then they went outside to play, as they do just about every afternoon now.
We live on a street with (mostly) very small, shared yards. Our backyard playground is mere feet away from our neighbour’s backyard playground because, as I said, these yards are SMALL AND SHARED.
Sometimes they play Charades — no need to be close for that — and last week or the week before (it’s all a blur), I showed them how to run an obstacle course and time each other. No problems there. One person at a time on the obstacle course, and everyone else cheered from a distance.
They’re kids, all between the ages of seven and nine. They’re not perfect, and sometimes they veer closer than six feet. One of them will remember and yell “Social distance!” and they back up, or we remind them from the windows.
I almost dropped the phone, I was so shocked.Read More
The other morning, I spent an hour on a video conference with people I’d never seen “in person” before. It was very successful, and I felt like an awesome businesswoman.
Then I hurried upstairs to check on the kids and discovered our son hadn’t heard his reminder alarm and, as a result, had missed most of his class Google Meet. I flipped my lid and felt like a terrible mother.
Yes, it’s an optional call, but I still felt awful. He’s missing out on so much right now, and knowing he’d missed out on one of the only things available to him filled me with anger, frustration and sadness.
I frantically pulled out my phone and started setting even more reminders, determined it won’t happen again even if I am on a work call. Now every day at 9:20 a.m., our house positively booms with voices coming out of every Alexa device.
It’s an overreaction, for sure, but these days I’m not sure I’m capable of reacting normally to anything.