I’m on the lookout for peculiar blessings during this time. I choose to be this way; I have to be this way. Our world feels dystopian, the news stories come in too quickly to keep up with or digest, and it seems as if normal life had done an about face. Truthfully, for my family and I, not too much has changed. My husband is self-employed, and has worked from home before during big, magnificent snowstorms that only Minnesota can bring. He’s been home for a while now, taking over my photo editing and writing space. I joked that I was going to start charging him a rental fee for my monitor. We chat while he works on spreadsheets and I turn over the laundry.
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life working from home, and as a stay-at-home mom, my routine feels mostly intact. I am fortunate in many ways, and mostly because we have what we need, and not for a moment do I forget what a blessing that is. We are all in this together, as a community, as a world, and as a family. I recognize that these are scary and frightening times for many, and not everyone has the same life or skills that I do. Quite honestly, I love being home, and I feel like this can be an opportunity to grow and deepen skills or complete projects I’ve had on my to-do list. I lament about our culture’s go go go lifestyle often, and I do believe that one silver lining in this is the forced closeness. The blessing of togetherness isn’t lost on me.
All three of us love being home together. This time has, at least for now, been a gift. We couldn’t swing a honeymoon when we got married in October. We’d planned a beautiful one, a tropical location I can’t remember anymore, and I was truthfully a little let down that it didn’t happen. This virus has given us hours of undivided attention, granted we have a toddler running around, but our nights are ours, and nap time, too. Being at home with my baby hasn’t ever made me feel lonely but having another adult around is a huge benefit. Instead of business as usual, it feels like we’ve taken a staycation in our home as a family. This togetherness and Cilla having attention from both parents during the day is truly a beautiful thing. Being home with my daughter and mothering her isn’t a burden, seeing my husband during the day and getting to eat every meal together is a gift.
I miss my friends, I miss taking Cilla to swimming lessons, I miss date nights in our quaint downtown, I miss our babysitter, I miss my parents, and my in-laws. I miss many things. I do know, that someday that life will return. I am resting in and embracing the today. I refuse to allow panic or huge waves of fear to overcome me. I woke early one night from a bad dream. I spent the next day limiting the news I consumed. I continue to grow this baby, invest in my spirituality, and journal when I have the energy and time. Someday, I know, my grandchildren, God willing, will want to know my experience.
I am so thankful for the technology that we do have. I’ve spoken to friends and family almost daily. Cilla loves to FaceTime with her grandparents, showing off her toddler vocabulary that is exploding by the day. A college friend who I had grown apart from, and I have spoken multiple times each day. I have vivid memories of getting ready for class with her, and these days as wives and moms now, feel like a return to those simpler times. We’ve both remarked over and over how grateful we are for this time to just connect.
These days have left me with the energy to do more fun activities with Cilla and to cook and bake. Seth wore me down with a request for cake and so I made a carrot one with the decadent cream cheese frosting. The other night we prepared a pork pasta sauce with pantry ingredients and meat that was in our freezer. I have a feeling we’ll be thinking about the meals we cooked together during this time for years. I long to create lasting memories, even among what is clearly a scary and intense time. I want to remember that we made the most of it, had joy, and connected.
During the deepest, most pit of despair season of my life, I remember finding joy in many of the same hobbies and pastimes I am now. They are with me like old friends. The art supplies I had crammed into a tiny apartment now delight my daughter, the frames I spray painted the summer before I met Seth have found a new home in our baby’s nursery, and the recipes that have been my mom’s staples are now texted to me so I can write them down. These are uncharted days, but goodness still and will persist.