We’ve had a tough couple of weeks.

Since my last post, Cute W fixed up our half-bathroom on the first floor. This is wonderful now that it’s finished, but the process itself was very stressful. He’d taken off spring break week to do the work, hoping he’d be able to do it and then have a little relaxation before heading back to work, but in the grand tradition of All DIY Projects Always, everything took longer than anticipated. Which should come as no surprise since he re-did flooring, plumbing, and electrical, installed a new vanity, and re-painted everything. Working in such a small space and so close to my usual work space (I didn’t take the week off) made things a little chaotic, and as unskilled laborers who basically couldn’t fit into the teeny room with him, J and I were not much help at all. Cute W was exhausted, and I fretted about trying to help him and channeled the energy into reorganizing two closets, which is good, but basically we were not a super fun crowd for the week. Luckily the weather was beautiful, so J was frequently able to be social outdoors and escape to volleyball.

As spring break week came to a close, I spent quite a bit of time with J, who was catching up with third quarter schoolwork and general organizational stuff that had piled up a bit while she’d ignored it in favor of friends and volleyball earlier in her vacation week. Over the weekend she caught up and got organized just in time to return to school . . . and then she woke up on Monday with a fever. She ended up missing the entire week of school and volleyball, which was a huge bummer, and she felt really physically terrible, which is even worse. The added bonus during These Trying Times is that if you have any kind of symptoms, you wonder if you have COVID, and of course, if she ended up with COVID, it could have potentially shut down both her school volleyball program and her club volleyball program. So that caused some major anxiety along with everything else. To top it all off, she was so uncomfortable that she was barely able to sleep, day or night. She finally started to feel a bit better on Friday, and on Saturday, she and I both napped hard, trying to catch up with all our missed sleep.

So. Here we are. J seems to be better and now is playing catch-up again with all the classwork and homework she missed. The bathroom is basically done, although Cute W already has corrections and follow-ups that he’s planning. And all of us are recovering and trying to take a little breath.

I have been feeling a little sorry for myself lately, and now that we are recovering and regaining some equilibrium, I’m trying to improve my outlook. M is coming home later this week, and there is nothing like one kid’s safe return home and another kid’s recovery from serious illness to make you just plain grateful. I was listening to The Daily‘s “The Agony of Pandemic Parenting” podcast episode and I couldn’t help but remember again how fortunate our family is, with our job stability and our safe and cozy house and our self-sufficient children.

And of course, springtime helps. I sent this poem, “Instructions of Not Giving Up,” by Ada Limón, to someone recently, and it feels perfect for now, with green leaves unfurling and buds opening up.

Hoping you are all appreciating the new life in all its forms.


  1. Claire

    I’m glad your daughter is okay. You guys have definitely been through a lot the past few months. Hoping things get better. I would love to see photos of the renovated bathroom!

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