Best of Times, Worst of Times

Fried grasshoppers for lunch? Hey, if it means I don’t have to cook…

In 20 years when my children are asked what they remember about the coronavirus pandemic, I imagine their response going something like this: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season when our mother went completely crazy. And… we ate a lot of icecream.”

Seriously. We’ve ate a TON of icecream. And does anyone else feel like Charles Dickens was perfectly describing Covid America as he opened A Tale of Two Cities!? It’s like we’re riding on a giant pendulum. Best, worst. Wisdom, foolishness. Belief, incredulity. Can we not make up our minds??

I’m hoping my kids will remember this experience as one great adventure, but I have to wonder if they will look back and think, “It was fun, but, man, our mom totally lost it for a few months there.” I feel like I’m usually a relatively steady person, but life in quarintine has made me feel like a walking contradiction, much like this crazy world around us. Here are a few examples:

Me: I’m going to take all this extra time and get a good exercise routine going!
Also me: Oooh, the boys’ hidden stash of Halloween candy…whoa, is that a Twix??

Me: Yay! Homeschool is so much fun! Hey kids, Let’s make an edible model of the layers if the earth!
Also me: What do you mean its only Tuesday?? Snow day everyone. No school. …Yes, an 85 degree snow day. Outside, Now!

Me: You know, this has actually been such a blessing to our family. We’ve been able to really spend quality time together. We’ve grown so much closer!
Also me: Please don’t touch your brother. Don’t look at your brother. Just don’t even breathe in the same room as your brother. You know what? I’m going to water the flowers. I don’t care what you do, just please don’t kill each other.

Me: I just got enough groceries to last us the entire month. No more grocery store runs until JUNE!
Also me: (2 days later) I have absolutely nothing to make for dinner.

Me: I have so many books to read, I don’t need people!
Also me: (Laying awake in bed at midnight staring at the celing) Do you realize we haven’t seen another human being in 22 days, 14 hours, and 36 minutes…

Me: All this extra time, I’m going to get so much done!
Also me: Huh, I haven’t folded clothes since March 16th.

Me: Hey, face masks are kinda cute! They’re like an accessory, and–bonus!–they hide my pimple.
Also me: Face masks are TERRIBLE!! How do you even breathe in this thing??

Me: No more rushed mornings, we are going to eat good breakfasts. Waffles, crepes, eggs, toast…no excuses!
Also me: Child: Hey Mom, what’s for breakfast? Me: Cereal.

Me: With nothing to rush off to, we are going to have good dinners. No excuses!
Also me: Child: Hey Mom, what’s for dinner? Me: Dinner? We have to eat again??

Me: We are going to save so much money with all the stores closed!
Also me: *grunting as I pull 10 amazon boxes off the porch.

Me: Ahh, no appointments, no meetings. This is so nice!
Also me: …And today we have a zoom meeting at 11 with your teacher, zoom class at 2, zoom doctor at 3, zoom with Grandma at 5, piano zoom at 6, zoom youth group at 7…

Me: Will this quarentine ever end!?
Also me: Oh no, they’re opening things up again. Back to civilization?? Nooo, no, no. I’m not ready yet!

Covid life has been a jumble of emotions. I’m just about to head out the door to take my son to an orthodontist appointment–an actual drive there, walk in the door appointment!–and I’m bubbling over with feelings. Honestly, appointments like this used to fill me with dread. But, is this excitement I’m feeling?? Or, maybe its trepidation. Unease? Angst? Fright? Foreboding? Thrill? Well, reguardless, I’m off to enter civilization. With other human beings. In a face mask. And, I actually shaved my arm pits. Best of times, worst of times. But at least I can count on a big bowl of ice cream tonight.

And… maybe even some grasshoppers.

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