Tag: Cian

Some Little Lessons I’ve Learned from Pandemic Thanksgiving + Start of Covid Christmastime

Some Little Lessons I’ve Learned from Pandemic Thanksgiving + Start of Covid Christmastime

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over this Pandemic Thanksgiving + start of Covid Christmastime:   On the Wednesday before your it’s-just-us-this-year Thanksgiving, it’s really nice to cook the big meal with your kids while also not stressing about cleaning the house for company. 

Then Anything is Possible: Happy Thanksgiving

Then Anything is Possible: Happy Thanksgiving

It’s 7:15 on Sunday morning. I’ve just sat down on the couch with a newspaper and the first, and therefore most precious, cup of coffee of the day. Cian’s already here in the living room playing, and he abandons his toys when I sit to 

This is Seven Years Old, but at 6:15 a.m.

This is Seven Years Old, but at 6:15 a.m.

I shared this to my personal Facebook page on a whim the other day, but this is something I want to remember, so here we go, blogged for all posterity (er, or just for my archives):

The other morning, I woke Cian up for school, as usual, at 6:15. He opened one eye.

“What’s for breakfast?” he asked.

I told him, and he nodded with approval.

Then: “What’s for lunch?”

I told him, and he nodded again.

There was a final follow-up question: “What’s for dinner?”

I told him, and this time I got a smile in return. He opened the other eye and motioned me off his bed. “Okay,” he said, this time with a sigh. “I’ll get up.”

I’m still wondering what would’ve happened if he hadn’t liked what he heard.
10 Sorta Happy Things in this Summer of 2020

10 Sorta Happy Things in this Summer of 2020

You guys, my kids are climbing the walls. They’re threatening to dig a hole in the backyard and fill it with tap water from the hose and call it a pool. They’re saying it’s too hot to play outside when it’s only 78 degrees. They’re 

They Said Not to Do It: The Quarantine Haircut

They Said Not to Do It: The Quarantine Haircut

There are things I’ve done that I regret in this life. That 8 a.m. math class my freshman year in college is a big one (or, rather, the fact that I rarely showed up to it). That pixie cut (“But Cameron Diaz looks so cute 

Cookies and Creativity and the Quarantine Slump

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 routine but also for someone to tell you how to make one. You are the parent who checks in late to the Zoom meetings.

It’s real, friends. It’s real now that we’re in Spring in the northeast and about to face a summer of steaming days and no pools and the kids inside because outside is too hot and there’s nothing to doooooo and how come we can’t get a pool?

It’s real, friends. Mom is declining rather rapidly now and sitting with her is strange and sad because it’s not the same (she’s not the same, nothing’s the same). When we left her house the other day, Cian said, “I miss Grammy.” He looked back at the house. “I mean, she’s there. But I miss her. I don’t know.”

It’s real, friends. I hate hearing people chew and somebody got sparkly nail polish on the couch and I haven’t kept any of my first grader’s completed papers organized. I have to-do lists that I lose so I make new to-do lists but then I shut down upon viewing the to-do lists and sit down to eat cookies instead. No one’s allowed to have bubble gum in the house because if anybody smacks their lips together so help me I will lose it. I stay up too late at night because it’s the only time of the day I don’t have to hear my beautiful family members asking for–or, Lord help me, eating–snacks or help with Google Classroom or can you please help us paint our nails again, Mom, because somehow the glittery polish smudged on this finger and I’m not sure where it went? I love these people so very much, and this gift of time with them is the absolute best but sometimes I wonder how I became the captain of a ship stuck out in the middle of an ocean when I don’t know my stern from my aft.

It’s real, friends. Netflix has replaced exercise, wine has replaced water, and frozen pizza has replaced fresh salad and grilled chicken.

We are in a quarantine slump.

BUT. My mom still calls me “Sweetie.” The kids are making plays and writing “books” and reading books before getting out of bed in the morning. My mom still craves her morning coffee and lights up at the first sip. The kids are walking the dog and doing the dishes and their laundry. My mom still asks me about the children and tells me she loves them. The kids are learning how to cook and bake and mop floors…and they actually like it.

It’s real, friends. And if you’re in Camp #1, I respect you and admire you but don’t think I can be friends with you anymore. (I doubt the #1s are watching Schitt’s Creek at night with a stack of Oreos on their laps?) I’m still firmly in Camp #2, as you guessed about 500 words ago.

BUT. I began writing again, like somebody flipped on a beautiful dusty switch in my brain. I’m almost fifty pages into the rough draft of a new novel. After a solid year and a half of apoplectic overwhelm, I’ve begun to be able to start sifting through the thoughts bouncing around this nervous head of mine and put them to use. David’s work is very busy, for which I am very grateful. But we aren’t redoing the landscaping or painting the house or making sourdough starter at the moment. We aren’t hiking or knitting sherpas or Instagramming homemade masks, but we are walking nature trails and making Nutella crepes and dancing in the car on the half-hour drive to my mom’s. As comfortable members of Camp #2, family is the priority, the work is the outlet, and my mom is the hinge on which our schedule and attention rests.

And now you know the only way I’m showing up for any Zoom get-together is if somebody else schedules it first.

I’ll bring the cookies.

 

Easter During a Pandemic: Well, That was Different

Easter During a Pandemic: Well, That was Different

Quinlan was in my bathroom Sunday morning as we were getting ready to go see my mom. It was Easter. We’d giggled over the baskets and laughed through the backyard egg hunt and baked and eaten the Resurrection Rolls, but we’d also watched a lot 

Coronavirus: He’s the Only One Calling this a Vacation

Coronavirus: He’s the Only One Calling this a Vacation

So here we sit, in the middle of the apocalypse (Kidding, kidding! It’s merely a terrifying plague!), wondering if this is what Orwell had in mind when he began writing fiction–no, not Orwell! Our present crisis is too scientific for Orwell. Maybe the guy that