Monday, March 23, 2020

A new normal

We took a walk on the local golf course yesterday. It was totally and eerily empty, just us walking over the grass. It felt good to feel the wind on my face and to hear Ben's laughter as he dragged a stick through the sand traps. On the way home, we saw messages of love and hope written in chalk on the sidewalk. That felt really good, too. I'll take whatever hope we can get. We live in New Jersey, and we're on lockdown. 

Life in our new Stephen King existence means that once a day, we get out to take a walk outside or ride a bike on our street. Twice a day, I swipe down everything with disinfectant wipes except the kids. I say things like "Don't use too many paper towels!" I stayed up till midnight last night to snag a grocery delivery spot for a week and half from now (we're not going out to the supermarkets, it's too risky). I need to figure out stuff to make with the five pounds of pearl barley I panic-ordered. 

Dave and I are just doing our best to juggle the care and feeding of the kids, house stuff, our jobs, and schoolwork and to exude a calm and cheer we don't feel. Sabrina and Max are doing virtual learning—their schools got going on that last week which keeps them occupied for part of the day. There's not much happening with Ben's preschool yet, although he has a whole lot of toys and a sister who loves doing TikTok videos. The kids have all been pretty adaptive so far about our new normal, and make good use of their electronic devices. *UNDERSTATEMENT*  

I was worried Max would have issues staying home because he and Dave love going on adventures that mostly involve eating, but he has the maturity to understand there are bad germs out there and this is the way things are, and for that, I am really, really grateful. I am also really grateful for Trader Joe's mac 'n cheese, because we're eating a lot of of that around here. 

Max has always loved iPad anything, and so the Zoom meetings with his teachers and therapists work well for him. He has class from 9 to 11:30 or 12:00 daily, depending on his therapies. Other times, he enjoys making lists, like what he plans on doing in California when he moves there. Here he is on Friday, doing PT with his therapist. 

Homework for Max starts this week. He got a packet from school, and his teacher has been emailing worksheets. Yesterday, I finally organized folders for his school subjects and therapies. Max sits in his new classroom, aka our dining room, and does his thing with help from me or Dave. Sabrina's classroom is her bedroom or our basement. Ben's classroom is the den.

Sabrina made a sign to keep Ben out of her room when she's learning, so Ben made one, too:

For the last few months, when Ben wakes up in the morning he asks if it's a family day or a babysitter day. Now every day is a family day, and he's been pleased with that. He did ask yesterday when he was going back to school, which kind of broke my heart. Ditto for when Max told me that he was looking forward to camp, because I am just not sure that's going to happen this year. 

I am trying not to watch or read the news that often throughout the day. And making Zoom dates with family and friends. And disinfecting and disinfecting some more. And washing my hands and making sure everyone washes theirs. And taking this one day at a time. That's one major thing Max has taught me—trying to peer into the future can be terrifying. Especially right now.

Beaming hugs, good spirits and strength at you.


Thanks for sharing!

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