Leo, on seeing his brother’s new Lego set:
Mom! This Lego set isn’t safe! No one is wearing masks and they’re not six feet apart!
Our city is in phase 1.5 and I’m having a hard time with it. It’s a gray area area. When the rules were “shelter in place” I knew just what that meant. In the times before quarantine, when we could go anywhere we wanted, anytime we wanted, I knew what that meant. But phase 1.5? That’s not even a real thing!
I don’t like gray. Even though I live in Seattle and gray is our official color, I don’t like gray.
Everyone’s making up their own rules. My neighbor’s daughter was crying every day because she was so lonely, so they decided to take the risk and let her see a handful of friends. My other neighbor lets her kids play with the families on her block, but only outside, and no food or drinks. I dropped something off at another friend’s house and she was in there having lunch with a friend while their kids tumbled together on a trampoline out back. My other neighbor told me that they were the first ones in line when a restaurant opened its patio for lunch. I gasped. Behind my mask, I gasped.
I need to schedule an appointment with a sports doctor because I think I tore my calf muscle (yes, again), but maybe I won’t, because it sounds too risky. My glasses keep breaking and instead of scheduling an appointment to get new ones, I ask Kevin if he’s seen the duct tape.
I see Leo’s best friend (and really his only friend) riding bikes with a different kid, but I’m not sure we’re supposed to be doing that. I feel so sad for Leo that he’s not out there, that his friend didn’t even knock on our door. I imagine his best friend and the other kid making an irreversible bond during this time and Leo losing him, then never making another friend again and having a miserable rest of his childhood, all because I followed quarantine rules so strictly.
I don’t know why I’m following quarantine rules anymore. Is it because I’ve always been a rule follower? Because I’m good at following rules? Because I like when someone else is in charge so I don’t have to question if I’m doing the right thing ? Or is it because I’m terrified of what would happen if we got CoVid—terrified we’ll be the ones making the news as the “It’s Not Always Old People Who Die from It” headline?
Last week, three of Rocco’s friends showed up at our door and wanted to play, and I wasn’t going to sit there saying, “Sorry, we’re on quarantine,” so I let him play. He came home dripping wet and happy and said, “Today was so fun, I’m going to remember it the rest of my life.”
It about broke my heart.
So my rule, I guess, is that I’m not going to invite anyone over or but if someone shows up at the door I’ll let my kids play with them outside. And we can play pickleball at my parents’ house and eat cake in Kevin’s parents’ garage. Does that make perfect sense or does it make no sense at all? I can’t tell anymore!
I’m not as in love with quarantine as I was, but we’re still very happy like this. I’m finally getting the hang of sourdough. The boys have turned into best friends. I know how to buy bananas so that they stretch 7 days so we can leave the house only once a week. Except for the pickle ball. And the cake.
But when someone happens to stop by or I bump into a friend at the grocery store (not literally—that’s against quarantine), I remember how happy other people make me. I love my family, but I also love other people. I love having them over. And I hate feeling left out. All the FOMO that went away during Phase I is coming back fiercer than ever.
Ah! I set out to write a funny post about quarantine and instead vomited anxiety all over the page! Let me try to salvage it by ending with funny.
This week I e-mailed my friend in Arizona to see how they’re holding up. She wrote back:
It is boring and hot here. We are still stuck inside around here. Also, you know, *gestures around at America.*
I wrote back
I’m glad we visited you back in October because otherwise we might have to do something drastically dangerous, like get on a plane and visit you.
If you feel like commenting, I’d love to hear your personal interpretation of quarantine rules.
Are we all okay?
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Thai iced tea
Grasshopper brownie pie