Some of us are in the thick of things right now.  And some of us are watching in anxious anticipation for the more difficult times yet to come.  But we’re all waiting for things to get better.  No matter where we are on the curves, we’ve learned that we are still in this together - all while being apart.  With that in mind, we thought we’d share a few things that happened over the last month in the hopes that some of you may be able to identify with and take comfort in knowing someone else is feeling it as well.

Things That Made Us Laugh Recently

  • Big sis pretending to sneeze, making our 18 month old boy belly laugh so hard he was crying
  • Hearing my kids response to how I wouldn’t have been able to FaceTime my cousins if we’d had to stay home when I was their age.  “So…would you have had to use Skype or download Zoom?” they wondered.  No sense of pre-cellphone and pre-internet life!
  • Google Hangout happy hour with girlfriends - never had I needed a martini and non-news talk more
  • Overweight dogs rebelling against too many walks.  They didn’t sign up for bootcamp just because their owners were directed to stay home!
  • Can the Tooth Fairy still come to our house if we’re quarantined?
  • My kids learning texting etiquette.  (Spoiler alert - Grammy does NOT appreciate gifs of a pooping rhinoceros.)
  • Out of entertainment desperation, we taught our toddler the stanky leg dance.  He later asked what a stanky leg smells like!

Things That Made Us Cry

  • All of the people who are alone right now - those who are single, widowed, empty nesters, etc. -  truly isolated in their homes
  • My daughter’s classmate when asked to share something about her week during their virtual meeting,  “I don’t know.  I just really miss all of you guys.
  • The posting to the online school lesson about wants and needs where nearly every six-year-old want was an iteration of I want everything to go back to normal
  • Knowing that so many mamas will be bringing their babies into the world without their partners by their sides
  • The heartache of those who can’t be with their sick loved ones when they need them most
  • Worrying that we could lose jobs and also the health insurance that comes with them
  • All of the people who suffer from depression or anxiety and don't have the human interaction with their support systems or the face-to-face therapy they need
  • The knowledge that so many of the hardships we are all facing are most detrimental to those already in fragile and tenuous positions
  • The touching message on our school’s front sign noting “Six feet apart, but close to our hearts
  • My husband’s work bag sitting in our garage so it doesn’t inadvertently bring the virus into our home and children when he returns from the hospital where he works

Things We Did Way Too Much Of

  • Ate boxed macaroni and cheese, Oreos, Cheetos, and quesadillas
  • Pulled all the pillows off the couch to use as floating stones in a living room full of lava
  • Studied my highlights growing out as they’re being replaced with mousey brown…and so much grey!
  • Asked myself ‘Did that really just happen?!?!?’ while watching The Tiger King
  • Pressed the ‘Get Help’ button to help explain a fraction problem (Did I even take fourth grade math?)
  • Scavenger hunts with my toddler - things that are red, things with letters on them, things from nature, anything that will keep you occupied for two minutes!
  • Emptied the dishwasher and wiped down the kitchen…seriously, so many times
  • Watched Frozen II
  • The endless cycle of cooking then cleaning dishes, pots, and pans.  I feel like I’m running a 24hour diner.
  • Drank margaritas after getting the kids down for the night (anybody with me?)
  • Got sucked into the news cycle
  • Emptied the dishwasher and wiped down the kitchen…again

Things That Have Made Us Hopeful

  • A mile-long chalk message drawn by my house based on the The Wizard of Oz ending with a reminder that there’s no place like home
  • Feeling grateful that my one-year-old won't remember the stress and turmoil of this time. Yet, also appreciative of my six-year-old’s innocence and maturity navigating this scary period in her life. It will be enmeshed in her history and a time that she always remembers.
  • Friendly waves shared between neighbors that make me think we’ll be more connected on the other side of this
  • Our neighborhood Facebook page - it's filled with people coming up with neighborhood-wide activities for the kids to do safely at a distance, offers for grocery pick-ups, birthday celebrations with houses all over the neighborhood decorated with big signs for drive-by parades
  • The strength I know we’ll witness and realize we have both individually and communally to get through the next phases of the crisis and be better for it
  • Watching my young kiddos FaceTime with their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles while bolstering those relationships they’ll carry with them always
  • The blossoms on Spring’s redbud trees
  • The chaotic, silly laughter of an entire first grade class on a Zoom morning meeting
  • The sacrifices of those who bravely and generously continue to work outside their homes - grocery store clerks and stockers, medical workers and support staff, gas station attendees, pharmacy staff, delivery drivers and postal employees, police officers and fire fighters, food and agriculture workers, energy workers, water, wastewater and other utility workers, critical manufacturing employees, and others - thank you

So here’s to another hour, another day, another week.  Life is so wildly uncertain right now, but keep doing what you can do and we’ll keep doing what we can do. In the hopes of providing a little sense of community, let us know what affected you these last few weeks and we’ll share some laughs and tears to help us all.  Even though we’re apart, we’ll get through this together.