The little eggs hatched; did I tell you? It’s unreal. Two baby birds in there with beaks the size of two eyelashes. Tilly and TimTim. The girls named them.
We bought Annie roller skates. Indulgent, but any activity that doesn’t involve a screen or another human within six feet feels like a good investment these days. So, she’s out there. Skating our neighborhood like it’s 1984. Which sounds like an Orwellian reference but really, I was just thinking of myself in fifth grade. The dystopian thing, well yes. I suppose that too.
We had pizza in my parent’s backyard. Six feet between us all and close to six weeks since we’d seen one another. We are trying to make good choices.
I don’t know if letting Annie roller skate in the house is a good choice.
And I keep dreaming about Magic Mountain. Is this the obvious roller coaster symbolism? Or more direct sadness over Sydnie not getting her 8th grade grad night, which by no estimation, is a small deal? Anyone who knows anything about dreams, please weigh in.
Sunshine, for me, continues to be a salve. Always has been – my dermatologist shames me regularly for it. And a really good cup of coffee (Stumptown, Holler Mountain), unrushed, topped off, and steaming, can feel like a full body spa. I’m finding it’s really a good time to learn your elixirs external and internal because when the boredom sets in, our best learning begins. Either then or when your Wi-Fi crashes.
So what happened to us all at a month? Judging by your poetic, satiric, hysterical, and frankly inspiring responses, we all smacked up against some invisible wall. Sometime around one month of being kept from one another, boom. Proof that humans are meant to hug. Grandparents are meant to see their grandchildren. Friends are meant for the third dimension.
One of my dearest friends – she had a birthday. Not being able to hug her a happy one… come on Covid. Hurry up. The drive-bys are precious, but a sign, from a sunroof, it can’t scoop you up. It can’t love you.
And I can’t seem to find a face mask that fits Annie’s teeny tiny face. I just ordered some toddler sized ones off Etsy (bless the Creatives who always keep cute at the forefront). And I would prefer to not have to question if what’s printing from our printer is Syd’s science or geometry, because hell if I can tell the difference anymore. (It was science). (God help her if she has any questions).
“WAIT. What about sleepaway camp?”
They’ve sacrificed graduations, dances, grad nights, and good-byes. Year ends and year books and something about painting bricks. As soon as I admit the inevitable to myself, I can admit it to my children. I am not there yet.
I have not become a better cook. But I can totally see how this would be a good time to do that. My house? Still a Marie Condo nightmare.
I know, one day in the far-flung future, when the Great Pandemic of 2020 is a great topic of nostalgia and reminisce, I know, with all my being, I will miss it with a gut-wrenching ache. Surviving something together. Roller skates and baby birds and pajamas and Code Names. Scattergories and Big Boggle and walks that aren’t cut short by overly demanding schedules and places we need to get to that we’ll never get to on time. Looking into one another’s eyes (the ones that aren’t fogged up behind glasses – solutions there, anyone?) and communicating a communal crazy. Whatever happens next, whatever happens tomorrow, we’re writing history.
On old CVS receipts with complementary hotel pens. The whole globe is coloring on the same canvas.
And tonight we will all eat together (this was not a pre-Covid norm) and I will be flooded with the good and the gain that percolates in the in between. The arrested inertia. Time standing still – that episodic transgenerational wish come true. Still pause pushed, we’re living in this formerly unfounded FOMO free time, equalizing and envy free.
Heatlhcare workers continue to hold all our hearts. We can’t hold their hands, so we hold our breaths. We fist our fingers and we wish them well with all we have, and we pray that against all odds, they can be okay. There’s something unifying there. Some secondary gain inside the global hibernation. Somewhere.
There is loss and loneliness and birthdays that hurt without hugs. And inevitable emptiness that feels so wrong when rites of passage are denied (high school seniors… it’s just so wrong). So I just hope, I can’t help but hope, we can all sift through the sadness and find the sunlit (I know, Dr. Billips, I hear you) spot of good. See it and share it and savor it because it is there. Your cries are the comfort to another, your words have us nodding our heads in empathy. Laughing. Out loud laughing. Do you know? Do you know how many of you I heard from privately, about how those voices you read in the comment section (yours, not mine) calmed and cushioned this strange and unpredictable plunge?
Please, please keep speaking your truths. Speak them freely and speak them here. They are bringing laughter into homes you may never visit. Soothing souls you will probably never meet. But if we can define just one part of what this time can be about, maybe, we can make it about that.
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.