How It’s Going

It’s going a little bit like this.

And also, like this:

I have looked out this front window a lot. There’s something that just sort of gets me about looking out the window, under J’s rainbow, across the street to a rainbow posted on our neighbors’ front door. Poignant every time, but today’s rain and dreariness just makes it a little extra sad. On a good day I can spin it into a moment of gratitude for our sweet neighborhood and everyone’s efforts to cheer each other up.

But that is not today. One downer is that I’ve been suffering with a poor reading choice. I needed light and pleasant, so I found a novel on J’s shelf with a review from People magazine describing it as “infused with warmth and humor,” which seemed like it would fit the bill. It is not my cup of tea, any time, but during the current state of affairs, I did not need a novel about dementia, murder, unrequited love, and the death of three main characters. It was looking like a bad choice already last night, but I’d read so much that I figured I could knock out the last few chapters (this is where, if I were saying it near him, Cute W would throw in, “Fallacy of sunken costs!” and of course he’s right again).

This morning I woke up abruptly, suddenly aware that I’d screwed something up with my KidsOutAndAbout newsletters, and I jumped out of bed and ran to my computer in the vain hope that I could at least stop some of the faulty newsletters from going out. Then I fretted about fixing my mistakes for a while instead of having my nice morning workout. And when I was at a pause and waiting to get in touch with colleagues, I tried to take my mind off my troubles by finally finishing the novel that was exactly what I did not need. Then when I finally got a chance to connect about fixing my work issues, a daughter had a sudden and desperate need for my laptop computer. There was some stomping. There was some sobbing. Really, it’s low-key miraculous that there hasn’t been more stomping and sobbing.

Work got resolved and I got my workout in, but it really does feel a bit like this whole day belongs in the crapper. Except that, if you haven’t noticed, these days, every day that no one in your family is in the hospital is a good day. So I will declare it a good day. And I will knock on wood.

The girls have done some homework and watched a silly movie (Valentine’s Day, which I watched the other day, and it and Morning Glory are exactly the sort of movie I need right now, so if you have any recommendations of similarly lighthearted rom-coms that I may not have already seen and are available on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, please share them with me). Now J’s baking bread and listening to Taylor Swift, and M’s doing more homework. And it will be a soup night.

For four people who are sharing a house, we really don’t spend that much time together. And it certainly isn’t the sort of Beautiful Quality Time in which some people are exulting. Each of us is often very busy and concentrating on work or school tasks, and each of us tends to go out for workouts or runs or walks (not so much on this horrible day). So it’s actually pretty rare that all four of us are free together at the same time.

Early on in the self-isolation period, I thought we might all gather for afternoon movies or game nights, but that hasn’t materialized. I can’t bring myself to force participation on either of these kids–I’m just too bummed out for them, and I’m acutely aware that my mere (constant, unrelenting) presence is a source of irritation. So I’m not imposing new chores. I’m not nagging about school work. We do have our moments, when our whole family will chat after dinner together, or the girls and I will giggle on my bed, or Cute W and M will do footwork, or J will try to teach me a TikTok. And those are lovely. But, honestly? We’d have lovely little moments like that back in the Olden Times of January or February, dammit. The other day, J and I were indulging in a little gallows humor. “Silver lining. . . no school shootings!” and we’d high-five. “Silver lining. . . reduced carbon emissions!” and we’d high-five again. So we try to look for the silver linings, but it’s an awful lot of clouds, too, these days.

Alright, alright. I set this aside and tried to buck up a bit. I decided it was time to stop whining, so I made an appointment to give blood (the need is huge with so many blood drives canceled) and I sent off a check to our community food program. Because so far, I’m still healthy and solvent (knock on wood again!).

The clouds even cleared, so Cute W and I took a quick (very windy and cold) walk.

And tomorrow’s Friday. I don’t know about y’all, but this weekend, our family is just planning on hanging around the house.


  1. Dave

    Sounds like our house and many others I’m sure.
    If ordering take out food and I pick it up do I still leave a tip?

  2. Claire

    Yesterday’s weather certainly didn’t help. And I hear you about reading choices. Early on in our Shelter in Place I read a book my mother had loaned me, and it turned out to be a big mistake. Now I’m out of library books, so I’m finally embracing borrowing e-books for both my son and me, which is working out well. I go crazy if I don’t have something to read.

  3. @Dave, I didn’t used to tip for take-out, but I do now!
    @Claire, constant reading material is a MUST for me. And of course I have books in the house that just aren’t what I want. My Book of the Month is supposed to come today, and I went super-light, so here’s hoping it arrives before bedtime.

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