They wind around us in the strangest ways. They wind around our hearts in the strangest ways. They’ll wind round and around, and where they stop? No one knows. They don’t stop, in fact. It’s more like a meandering river that picks up speed at times, and dries up to nearly nothing at other times. The world is sick – both the people in it – and it itself. And we’re fighting over masks and groceries. Alas, it’s been two months for us (as of yesterday) and time is a strange beast. It’s fast when we want it to be slow, and slow when we want it to be fast, but right now it’s fast when we want it to be fast. And do we want it to be fast? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
My biggest hurdle of the week, and my biggest victory in my life outside of COVID-19 – is that I had my BIG ultrasound on Tuesday. I was incredibly nervous. I would have been anyway, because I’m over 35 and the words “Level 2 Ultrasound” gave me nightmares. Plus, my last ultrasound was at 10 weeks and I hadn’t seen him since. I didn’t know if he was developing normally, despite getting back wonderful NIPT test results. I was also nervous because I had to go alone. In a hospital. Wearing a mask the entire time. And with anxiety that can catch my breath. And an exam after it. So it was a big “Outside of Coronaverse Day”, as you can see.
And I couldn’t believe it but I could believe it, that everything was just wonderful. The ultrasound technician used the word “perfect” a bunch. I watched him for an hour – so big and strong and hiccuping! And at the exam, my blood pressure was perfect too. Who knew?
10 Things I Miss About You (Life Before/During the Pandemic):
1 – The very specific feeling of putting the kids on the bus, walking up the driveway with that early morning sun both following and warming my back, and then deep sighing my way into breakfast, into coffee with emails, or into coffee with my first (but not only) burst of hard work.
2 – I miss the rhythms of my days, or lack thereof, because when you work for yourself, you make your own rhythms. There was always room for redesigning my days, and it changed by the days, weeks, and years. Whatever it was, it was mine. My beautiful, hard-earned, well-planned days.
3 – I miss that I could just watch a Hallmark movie in the middle of the day, or take a daylight bubble bath with that gorgeous afternoon sun streaming in the picture window. I rarely did these things. Maybe only when sick. When I get the chance again, I’ll never take it for granted.
4 – I miss my “mom days” which I really called my “long days” but Cassidy nicknamed them “mom days” from either mishearing me, or not. There was always a day in which both kids had after school activities and I was free until 4:30. I could go to a movie, road trip to Vermont to go to that ridiculous(ly) awesome Vermont Country Store with the old-fashioned candy, the old-fashioned nightgowns, and the toe fungus cream, or whatever they had. I could go shopping, I could treat myself to ice cream, I could cross state borders, and I could just.. love it. Just love it.
5 – I miss being social, of course, but mainly it’s being social without limits. I’m probably fairly normal on the phone and by email and text, but in person, we have to treat everyone we see like they have it. And we have to treat ourselves like we do. I hate the new awkwardness it entails.
6 – I miss seeing my family, of course! I live far so while all of them can see each other from a distance, I can’t really drive four hours to stare at them. That said, today is my mom’s birthday. Usually I’d be there with her. Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope it has a lot of happiness and cake.
7 – I miss my favorite small businesses. I miss my hair stylist, my eyebrow ladies, my coffee shop, my favorite ice cream shop (while my other two favorites have been able to deliver and do curbside pickup, this cash only stand that usually opens in April is still closed), and my libraries!
8 – I miss possibility. Even though we went to Disney World in February and probably wouldn’t be going until 2022 (because of new baby in 2021), I miss that we COULD go there if we wanted. And to go to California, or St. Augustine, or Norway, or wherever. Or Broadway. Sob, Broadway.
9 – I’m so sad that the kids won’t have summer camp this year. They had some REALLY cool ones scheduled – like theater and music and circus and nature, oh my! Maybe next summer.
10 – I miss reading the news without a huge sense of dread. Although that didn’t start with Coronavirus. That started over three years ago, wouldn’t you say? Or really.. since humans.
On The Other hand, 10 Things I Love About You! (Life During/After the Pandemic):
1 – Every day I take some kids and some dogs (and sometimes all) on a long loop through our woods. The tall trees let in the sunlight on sunny days, and block the rain on rainy days. It tires out the dogs and is enough to get our hearts racing without being high impact. We all love it.
2 – Lucy! She was planned before the crisis, but I would have been alone with her every day and that is a LOT. Plus having everyone here means that they’re not missing these most precious puppyhood days and her smiling Husky face. Like the first time she made it up the stairs, and we were all waiting for her and clapping, and she ran right into our arms. So proud! And then we realized, “Oh.. another floor for her to have accidents on, and chew our things on. Fun!” But it is..
3 – More time together means more kid bickering, but it also means more time quietly playing together, or even laughing together. That was definitely a pleasant surprise in all of this.
4 – There’s no more of that rush/rush feeling of always having to be somewhere – to pick someone up and get groceries and get to parties and appointments. Less rapid heartbeats.
5 – We still have our jobs, AND life is easier in that regard. We’re all struggling through so there’s more leeway for Zoom meetings interrupted by screaming kids, being late to work, and being late with work. That doesn’t mean I’m not still giving everything my all, but I’m being easier on myself because I see my industry being easier and more sensitive too. Cassidy is home as well. I thought that might be a lot, and sometimes it is a lot, but don’t we all just want more time with our loved ones.. with nowhere to be.. ever? I feel like there’s potential for it to be wildly romantic.
6 – I so appreciate the creativity going around. For everyone committing crimes and being terrible and selfish, there are many more businesses and individuals doing amazing things to stay connected AND safe. People helping people. I always believe the majority are out to help.
7 – While a lot of my favorite businesses can’t open yet, many others are opening in ways they never have before. I’m talking delivery, curbside pickup/takeout, and also offering new items.
8 – The kids are home! They were busy and not even over-scheduled busy. They were just right busy – with school, after school activities, friends, play dates, and parties, and music or sports too. That’s a lot of time away from me. Haven’t I always wanted this saturated time? I got it.
9 – Now we have time to do all the things we always said we wanted time to do. Repaint the bedrooms, edit photos from the last four years, start the dogs on a regular exercise routine, etc.
10 – My family. There are a lot of us, and years of silences and oddities. This experience has brought us closer, even while distanced. My younger brother started a texting thread with the seven of us on the day we all got the calls from our schools and workplaces. No one else is ever on that chain – not spouses or friends or anyone else. It’s our sounding board to talk about our fears, anxieties, and hopes. We share videos, memes, and tears too. The news, the weather, whatever. I’ve never felt closer to them, because in the past, months would pass without any words exchanged. Now a day doesn’t go by where we don’t know one another’s inner thoughts.
*And you know what? I love that it was MUCH easier to come up with this second list than the first. I think that speaks volumes that there is a lot to appreciate right now. And we will take this with us. For now, we disconnect from the news and the screens when it’s all too much, we connect with people in new (for now) ways, we commit acts of kindness, we schedule phone dates, we use Zoom for fun, we do something we’ve always loved to do that we can still do (like drive with the windows open and the radio blaring), we enjoy the spring sun, and we plan our socially distanced summer travel. And yes, that can be done. I’m researching it all right..now.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for a new prompt. This week’s awesome topic is “Things the world will appreciate more because of the pandemic…” Link up HERE.