It was just yesterday that we were toooo BUSY

Now, y’all are already complaining about how you are going to entertain the kids and maintain a quarantine.

These are unprecedented times. And I feel for the mamas and papas that have to go to work and do not have child care. That is an impossible and frustrating situation. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. And the world can be cruel when you are the only one in the office or the shop or the factory who can’t show up at the boss’ beck and call but yet you need the dough. That is a completely unreasonable position.

I am in an enviable spot right now. I will get paid and I get to hang out at home with maybe all 6!!!!!! Tuck is maybe even coming home. I will certainly not be worrying about my kids getting behind in algebra or vocab. This is a GIFT. Obviously, Covid19 is horrible and a huge health crisis- a pandemic. But my job for my little family is to practice mindfulness.

This very moment I am fine. My children are healthy. I have both my back doors open and a breeze is fresh and puffy. I stole two skinny brancheswith buds off trees and I put them in my largest amber mason jar. The lilac and spring green are starring on my kitchen table stage among the silverware, candles and sundry mess. George is playing Beatles. Dolly is on a run. Mim is with a friend on my bed watching Frozen 2. Linus is keeping guard and Frida is napping. We are better than okay.

I am allowed to enjoy this break from the traffic, routines and constant schedules.

These are the moments we have been waiting for! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. (What is that saying?)

*Remember how you kept saying that you have been meaning to talk to your 7 year old about where babies come from or your 15 year old about consent.

*Remember how neither of the kids know how to do a load of laundry. Or scramble their own eggs.

*Remember how you have been meaning to plant those bulbs and start your tomato seeds.

*Have your kids heard you read To Kill a Mockingbird aloud?

*Remember we haven’t dyed eggs in years.

*There was no time to get all the too small clothes to the Goodwill. There was no time to clean the shed.

*You’ve been meaning to do a jig saw puzzle like when you were a kid.

*I’ve been feeling guilty when I see my dogs begging for petting and walks.

*And to open up a whole new category- CRAFTING. You have always wanted to learn how to knit. I could work on photography. Hello, collage, my dear old friend.

*I could read for pleasure.

And the kids–I do not like to give advice mostly because I hate when people give me advice- BUT, THIS IS IT. WE have been waiting for this moment. For our kids to have a chance to get bored. To live like we did as kids. Send them outside for hours and don’t let them back in, even if there are scattered showers.

My cousins and I in 1974. Photo taken by Tommy Gascon.

Didn’t we all share that post on Facebook about growing up in the 70s. Childhood was on banana seat bicycles drinking kool-aid. Give yourself a break- let them eat hotdogs. We all remember with fondness life without smart phones and we complain that our children have no idea how easy they have it, but then we fill their every minute. We organize internships for our college sophomores and arrange individual practice to improve soccer skills. Let our kids be kids. And let them build their own lives. Go after their own dreams and goals. I hope I catch my kids staring out a window and I walk on past. I don’t even say anything because I don’t want to interrupt their nothing.

Well, while we need to stay home and wash our hands, lets teach our kids how to be bored. What do you do when you have no one but yourself or no one but your siblings? Really- when you waited in a doctor’s office or in a long line, What did you do? Did you daydream? Did you talk to the people around you? Do we know how to entertain ourselves?

Our children will benefit more from us doing less. Take away the technology, occasionally.

Just now, we drove through town and I saw more people on porches than usual. It was beautiful. Lets’ wave to each other from our front yards. And if you have any fashion plates, can I borrow them?



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