Love in the Time of Coronavirus

You haven’t been seeing a lot of posts from me lately. You haven’t been seeing them because I haven’t been reading. I’ve been listening to music in the car instead of my audiobooks. I’ve been looking at social media in the evening instead of reading my physical books.

There are a lot of reasons for this. The bookstore has been crazy busy, which we’re grateful for, yet always mindful of what that means in a scary time. There are never very many customers in at once and we sanitize constantly. It’s hard to know the right thing to do in terms of best supporting our community right now, so we’re keeping our ears and hearts open to make that choice every day. At the end of the day, I’m physically and emotionally tired in a way that just being a mom didn’t exhaust me. I didn’t know I had new levels of tired to reach.

I am a little anxious, and I do mean a little. There are no panic attacks; I’m not unable to do the daily things that need to be done. But in any spare moment I’m wondering if I should be planting a vegetable garden to make sure I have some fresh produce for my family, or if we do have to completely quarantine if people will want to come out and socialize again when this is all over, or if this goes on for months or years, what will the economy look like? what will become of the small businesses I love, the one I work for included?

Things that used to be quick stops on the way home are monumental tasks right now. Grocery run? Try grocery crawl, probably including someone crying and someone screaming. Even the convenience stores aren’t convenient today.

I’m just having trouble finding the time, energy, and focus for my most beloved pastime right now.

But…

I am loving my boys with every fiber of my being in every moment. I cannot get enough of them. I have always loved my children, but I am appreciating them in a different way because of this. Life is changing, whether it turns out to be temporary or not. They are growing up in a world where being able to find milk or bananas or eggs in a supermarket is not a given. They are living, young as two of them are, in a time when they can’t have playdates. There are no movies or restaurants with playgrounds or zoos to go to.

We are not social distancing as drastically as some families may be, because I am still working with the public, so I will probably be our point of exposure. We do run errands together, supporting local even more strongly than we always have, and visit our close relatives. Middle Brother’s daycare is still open to date, so he does have some time with friends.

But we are spending a lot more time at home, just our little family, and as scary as times may be, I am loving it. I am trying to stay in that gratitude as much as I can. When I do get around to that vegetable garden, we’ll all be out in the yard, and Middle Brother will be “helping”. We play a lot of Monster Dinosaur, which is basically just chasing each other around roaring. Little Brother has started trying to play. My boys are all so funny in very different ways: Big Brother has some fantastic snark, Middle Brother plays tricks, Little Brother makes the funniest sounds just because he knows I’ll laugh and he likes it. I’m staying in this right now, because this family is my home and it grounds me.

Reading is a great escape, and I’ll need that again soon, I’m sure. At the beginning of all this, though, when everything still seems so uncertain, I need the unshakeable foundation we are for each other. I need this love, and it needs me. There will be plenty of time for the other.

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