Last weekend I went out to dinner with friends and we spent all of Sunday afternoon and evening at the home of more friends. Sometime between then and last Wednesday or Thursday everything changed. The governor announced late Thursday night that Michigan schools would be closed for three weeks (four, if you count spring break) starting the following Monday, and Kristin and I began to realize that the wave of “social distancing” (which I was texting friends to try to comprehend just a day or two earlier) was upon us.
So on Saturday we went into hibernation. We woke up debating whether it was OK to take Jonah to karate before learning that it was closed (we’d already decided that gymnastics for the twins was off the table – too crowded). We began exchanging activity and home school ideas with friends via text and did our best to dive into this new reality. The good news is that we’re mostly introverts in this family, so keeping to ourselves on the weekends rarely bothers us. So here’s lockdown weekend #1, a photo essay:
The bad news? Monday came today and I found myself wrestling with the complexity of working from home (normal) with everyone else home (not normal), and struggling to focus on work while simultaneously fending off waves of jealousy and sadness as text after text rolled in from friends who were joyfully engaged in creative home school projects with their own children. I’ve dreamed about home schooling the kids for years, and now that we’ve all been thrown headfirst into this reality I’m stuck working from 9-6. Believe me, I don’t have any illusions about it being easy for Kristin. I heard the kids arguing with her throughout the day as everyone tried to adapt to the new routine, but I still had a deep sense of longing to sit down with them and learn to draw the Mo Willems pigeon (or any number of other quirky things suddenly available online to parents who are grasping at straws).
I know that plenty of families are struggling a whole lot more: both parents expected to work a full day while caring for and educating kids, health care workers who don’t have the luxury of staying home, the list gets much more dire. But today I’m a little bummed out and searching for some kind of balance that will allow all of us to reach a new equilibrium for however long this might last.