Isolation – Day 2

Today was stressful. Because of the mundane things – the spilled glass of water, the recipe not looked at closely enough, the orthodontic device that decided to detach on the very day the orthodontist’s office closed for two weeks.

But today was also stressful because the enormity of our situation finally caught up with me.

This morning my cousin came to babysit so I could run to the grocery store. I felt guilty bringing someone into our home – I’m trying to take this isolation thing to heart – but I figured it was probably better for humanity to have one adult come into my home than to bring five touchy-feely children into a public space.

Last night when my husband tried the grocery store after work, the milk was pretty much gone.

I’ve never had to worry about not being able to find milk before. But now I did, and I was anxious. Getting up, getting ready, getting on the road – the only thing I could think about was getting that milk. Then there was an almost total lack of traffic – 8 AM Sunday traffic at 9 AM on a Tuesday – and my anxiety mounted.

Later, (back home with my milk, thank goodness) the enormity of what we are facing began to unravel within me. I felt unmoored.

Homework packets be damned. I wasn’t going to worry about that today, on top of everything else. Instead I rushed the girls to naps and the boys outside. I needed to be alone. I needed to restore a little order to my surroundings. I needed to feel like I was in control of something.

Ultimately, I gave up on my complicated, Irish-themed dinner plans and just set the box of Hungry Jack on the counter. Green pancakes it would be.

Then in the early evening, thank goodness, I did the best thing I could in the moment: I went outside. I let two eager little girls lead me out the door and show me the wonder of grass and rocks, of flowers growing where they were never planted. We explored, we marveled, we breathed the fresh, clean air.

Today the boys wrote in their journals again, but did pretty much nothing else of conventional value. And I am completely fine with that. Today was a day for mourning. Tomorrow is a new day. Maybe it will be for getting a grip on this new way of living.

P.S. For the record, I’ve got to share that the kids had Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast this morning as a special St. Patrick’s Day treat. They were super, amusingly excited to try it. It was a joy to watch.

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