Our COVID 19/Social Distancing Family Experiment – The Beginning

Today is the first Sunday of my life that I woke up and didn’t feel guilty about thinking about skipping church…or possibly, just possibly skipping church.

Today, I will go to the grocery store for the third day in a row before 8:30am to try and beat the crowds as I try to determine how to ensure my family is fully stocked on necessities while also trying to figure out what I can buy to donate to other families who don’t have the same luxury of stocking up.

Today, I am confident our family will camp out in front of the TV at some point to play video games, watch movies, and figure out what the heck to do with a day in which we can’t rely on other things: people, activities, items to occupy my kids.

Today, I will IM with multiple other moms, friends, family and work colleagues as we prep for what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow is when shit gets real, and I really start to understand what the heck the new world looks like. Working at home full-time indefinitely, helping coordinate eLearning for my children, finding ways to keep the ship of our live sailing while keeping the people I love most – both in my home and outside of it – safe and healthy.

Three things a know as I look at the beginning of an unprecedented time in my life – but also in the life of the five generations of my family alive today.

  1. Things will be…: I know that I will be afraid at times over the coming weeks. I will be overwhelmed. I have family all over the country from a sister who is a nurse in Seattle to parents in South Texas (including one with emphysema), to a brother in Boston.  I have friends that I can’t help, even as some are dealing with real-life possibilities of supporting their families while possibly being sick and just waiting for a f’in test to be available.  I have neighbors who may need me, or I may need them, whether it is for supplies or for sanity checks.

The truth is the next few weeks will likely be the ultimate four-letter word of feelings, but we will get through it.

  1. This could be the most amazing opportunity for my family: Over the last decade, life happened. I’ve been navigating an interesting professional journey, working my ass off, as I desperately try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  In the interim, my three kids have grown up.  No longer do I have the snuggle monsters that love unconditionally. I have a teenager who is surly and struggling, a pre-teen girl who is sad more than she is happy because girl-drama absolute sucks, and a 6-year old who is my lovable but clearly the last child.  I have a husband that I love more than life itself, but we have started to lose each other as we try to figure out at early-40+ who we are as individuals and as parents. When you have known each other since you were kids, it’s fascinating how easy it is to accidentally grow apart as you grow up together.

Yet, for the first time in my life, I’m going to be forced to find a way to focus on what matters most.  If I don’t walk out my front door when this is over and know my kids just a little more or understand my husband just a little bit better, then I’ve missed an opportunity.  What that means in the long term, only time will determine.  But I’ve been given a chance, one way or another, to reconnect to the people who are the Suns in my life. My orbit sometimes feels like it has been weakening, and I pray I can strengthen the bonds.

  1. We are not alone: Not one of us is alone, even when we are alone. Billions of people, across the globe, are in this with us. Pandemics don’t care about gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.  In moments like these, we will might see the worst of human nature, but the best of being human will always shine even brighter.  The beauty of timing here is that technology allows us to see each other, hear each other, and be with each other in a way that was never possible before.  If you feel lost and alone, if you are struggling, reach out – even if you can’t do so physically.  While walls may separate us temporarily, the beautiful videos of Italian communities singing together reinforces that we can always find a way to find the good in the middle of the bad together.

As you begin your Sunday journey, remember we are all in this together. And when things feel bad, listen for the music…

Italian Singing

 and remember:

Gloria Gaynor I will survive