Day 246

Today is the 246th day since the boys came home from school on a Wednesday and never went back. 246 days since I used up a bottle of white out on my calendar, canceling all the things I used to call “daily life.”  I know people like nice round numbers, like the 250th day, or 300th day, but it is the 246th day today and I happen to have some time to write a blog post, so 246 it is.

Here are some things quarantine has made difficult:

Small talk: Normally when I talk to a friend, I ask things like, “What did you do on the weekend?” Or, “Do you have any vacations planned?” Or, “What’s new?” But now there’s no point in asking. The answers are always, “Nothing,” “No,” and, “Nothing.”

Christmas cheer: Normally when Halloween is over, I get a rush of excitement. The start of the holiday season!!!!! The boys will be home for a full 2 weeks and we can just lie around in our pajamas all day!  We don’t have to do all those things we normally have to do! Oh, right.

Vacations: Normally this time of year I’m making vacation plans for February so I won’t fall into the post-holiday slump. This year, vacations are off so I’m signing up for therapy sessions in February instead, which is not as fun a way to treat the post-holiday slump.

Here are some things quarantine has made nicer:

Lunchtime: The boys are learning to get food for themselves.. They do things like grate cheese, make pasta, and microwave leftovers! Plus, there is not a sinkful of lunchboxes and water bottles to wash each night (I would take two sinkfuls of dinner dishes over one sinkful of lunchboxes/water bottles).

Weeknights: I no longer have to make dinner at either 4Pm or 8PM to fit around schedules, but can instead make it at a normal time. Afterwards, the boys have time to practice piano and we play games as a family, which used to only happen during holiday breaks.

Weekends: We’re actually home on Sundays to watch entire football games, and for the boys to rake up piles of leaves and jump in them, and for Vincenzo to finally build that desk he’s been talking about building. There’s just…time.

Small moments: Last week, for example, we had a good wind storm, and instead of being in school, the boys were home with me so we ran around the yard and biked on the trail in the “leaf snow.”

So quarantine is still both good and bad. I miss the old things but I like the new things. If someone asked me if I’d rather spend the next five years like this or go back to the Before, I honestly don’t know what I’d say. Can we somehow meet in the middle on it?

Roasted chicken
Pan-fried potatoes
Roasted broccoli
Chocolate pudding

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