Every day I sit across from my son’s face, and watch him do zoom calls with his class. This time, this weird strange time has brought about so many different emotions and feelings inside of all of us. Some have found that they can handle it. They can get through, and some have found that it’s just too much.
Mostly I’ve seen bread. So much baking. The virus has changed our world in so many ways, for the better and for the worse. We have found love in many different places that we didn’t think we could find it—in our neighbors, in stores, in delivery people, and mail carriers. Everyone has had to step up their kindness game. There are acts of love every day I see on my walk. Chalk on the ground telling you to keep going, that there is a universal love, that we’re all in this together. Neighbors checking in on the elderly, asking if they can do grocery shopping, their cars washed, if they need anything. Delivery people with masks and gloves, risking their lives to keep going for you!
I have figured out the things that work and don’t work for us, and I guarantee it’s not the same for everyone, but it helps to hear stories. It helps to find the goodness or the good moments in the day or week. Homeschooling is hard for me—mainly because I am not a teacher and I have a precious son who wants me to be a part of every single assignment—but also because I have a 5th grader who’s common core math is way above my head.
The other hardest thing for me has been navigating grocery shopping and cooking (and baking) for my son with celiac. I used to have a grocery routine. I would go to three different stores to find the right gluten-free food product. Now, I mostly count on grocery delivery and some of them don’t get it right. Although this is a minor problem in the overall world right now, it’s been a bit of a challenge. And, baking gluten-free (which I want to do as stress relief) isn’t going too well.
I am lucky. I know that every day. But navigating the world now and the whole way of finding the stuff that is needed to sustain a gluten-free diet is just different and hard. I have had many missteps, and my poor family has eaten it with smiles. “Oh Mom this is good!” But it was not good—I tried it myself, but I think they know that everything is hard now and want me to feel okay too. I did make one amazing gluten-free deep dish pizza though!
We have tried to keep busy with crafts, online museums, shows of love and gratitude online, and connecting with friends and loved ones through Zoom and Facetime. Drive-by birthdays and zooms have become the norm, and do bring love and happiness to my kid’s faces. We made armor out of the cardboard boxes that we got (after leaving them to quarantine outside for three days.) We have put up messages with Magna-Tiles on the garage door about the virus (they stick because they are magnetic.) We’ve caught lizards in the backyard, and made cards and love notes to send to many of our friends and family so they know we’re there for them.
Try, try try, I implore you to find a moment in a week for yourself, to have a self-love moment. We all need it. We all need the seconds in the day where we can say, I’m doing my very best, I’m working as hard as I can at keeping a normal house, a normal-ish life. Even if it’s a bathroom break that’s a bit longer than usual. Take that time for yourself. You’re doing great!