Recently, my phone has become a black hole, somehow pulling me toward it with more force than usual. I’ve been sucked into the cycle, checking the constantly-updated pages of the major media outlets for the latest news whenever I have a spare moment.
I know this is no way to live a life, even a life in the midst of a pandemic, and yet, I do it.
One night last week, once our over-hyper kids were (finally) in bed and the evening chores completed, Jonathan suggested a movie.
We don’t watch much these days, and it was already 9 PM. I shot him a puzzled look.
(We’ve turned into old married fuddy-duddies who usually call it a night around 10.)
“It’s better than us sitting around reading endless articles about the coronavirus,” he said.
He was right. We watched the movie.
(Correction: We started the movie, and then finished it the next night. Old married fuddy-duddies, remember?)
On Friday afternoon, feeling confined and in need of some fresh air, I took the kids for a walk.
I meandered down the path. Miles babbled from his perch in the Ergo (while clutching, inexplicably, an emery board in one hand.) Katie dashed ahead. Abby alternated between hanging back with me and trotting after her sister.
(An apt metaphor for that little girl’s life, that is, now that I think of it).
For a few hours, there was no world beyond the trees and the fields, the three small people who call me mom, and the endless sky.
A part of our bedtime routine involves the asking of questions:
What was the silliest part of your day?
Were you kind to anyone? Did you show anyone you loved them? Was anyone kind to you?
If you could change anything about your day, what would you change?
Our first question is always the same, an easy one to get us started: What was your favorite part of today?
On Friday, both girls gave the same answer. It rolled off their tongues without them even having to think about it:
“Going on our walk!”
It was my favorite part, too.
A caveat, before I continue:
Though I certainly feel the weight of what is happing in the world, the upheaval of the past few weeks has not had a drastic effect on my daily life. I stay home with our three kids. I cook most of our meals. We homeschool.
We miss our regular activities – gymnastics, church, playdates at the park, Katie’s on-campus classes – but the overall shape of our days is mostly unchanged. We have plenty of food. Nobody in our home is in an “at-risk” category. We have money saved for times like these. And, while there are certainly challenges associated with owning a small business when the world economy is in free-fall, Jonathan still has a job (as do our employees, thankfully).
I know these things are not true for everyone.
Yesterday, I determined not to check the news for the entire day.
I wrote a little. I picked up a novel. I stared out the window.
I worshipped with my church family online.
I fed my hungry kids. I read to them. I washed dishes, and soothed bumped heads, and spent
far too long not enough time rocking a baby who fights sleep.
I kissed my husband, and I talked on the phone, and I admired homemade creations. I planned school for this week.
I took one moment at a time, and I did the thing in front of me that needed doing.
Which, as it turns out, is exactly the right way to live a life. Even – especially – in the midst of a pandemic.