Cookies and Creativity and the Quarantine Slump

Okay, at this point of quarantine, you’re in one of two camps: #1: You are a person who’s settled into this “new normal,” and are content and calm. You’ve weeded the flower beds, laid down fresh mulch, and are considering a fresh coat of paint inside your house. You’ve set yourself and your family on a flexible-but-calming schedule, and have a routine for sharing the laptops for work and school. You’re the parent who organizes the Zoom playdates for your kids. Or: #2: You’re the person who’s finally realized that this could go on forever and the kids eat all the food and the carpets are so dirty and who can freshen up their landscapes when they’re too worried about catching coronavirus if they leave the house for the garden center and you miss restaurant margaritas and your friends and you really should be decluttering the closets/finishing the book/organizing the family finances/making sourdough starter but you can’t, you just can’t, because you are tired of it all. You are a desperate for a…

Rest in the Time of Coronavirus (and, um, Brain Cancer)

I was talking with my brother, Paul, sister-in-law Sarah, and David this week, when Sarah and I got to chatting about writing. She’s diligent, writing 500 words every morning at her computer before starting her work day, and it impresses me. (She also walks miles every day, does other exercising every day, cooks elaborate meals every day–meanwhile I sit on the couch to type this in the sweats I’ve been wearing for two days and I’m about to throw some shredded chicken and store-bought enchilada sauce in the oven and call it dinner. I know women aren’t supposed to compare themselves, but…you guys, these sweats are from Old Navy. They’re threadbare at this point. It’s all I’m saying). My point is, Sarah is hustling. My life is so anti-hustle these days I can’t even rest properly. (Anyone else not able to sleep anymore? I know it’s not just me.) During our conversation the subject of this blog came up, and Paul thanked me for finally posting something last Friday that wasn’t about…

Quinlan Says Quarantine is Fun and We’re Just Going to Roll with it

Quinlan had to write a letter Monday for her language arts class, in which she described to an imaginary other student her first month under stay-at-home orders. “MOM. Mommy. MOM.” Quinn said this as she walked from the dining room, where she’d set up her dad’s old laptop as a work station, to where I was in the family room, writing on my own laptop. “Mom. Mommy? Mom. I need help.” I love my children. I really, really, like having them around. But sometimes? Quinlan draped herself over the arm of the couch so that her face was inches from my computer. “Mom? Mom. In this letter I have to tell the other student what I’ve been doing all month. How do I start it? What do I say? Mom. What’s my first sentence going to be?” I sighed. This was Quinn’s thirty-seventh request for help in the last hour and a half. I’m usually pretty proud of my patience with the kids, but that patience depends largely on whether my anxiety has taken the morning off (hahaha NOT…