When my dog is stressed in general, he sneezes. When my husband is stressed about COVID-19, he yells, “Did you cover your mouth?” if he hears a sneeze. When I’m stressed, I turn the music up. Loud music makes the dog feel stressed. You can imagine the endless cycle I’m living in.
The ants are back. I woke up this morning and small black ants were crawling across my kitchen counter. I shouldn’t be surprised; they return every spring with the first hints of warm weather and a little rain. Like the daffodils and magnolias, they don’t know about the pandemic. They don’t know about my rage toward more unexpected intrusions right now. After spending two weeks wiping every surface of invisible germs, there is something satisfying about clearing the counter of a gross but manageable threat.
It’s Saturday. I know the days are blending together, but I think we all deserve a cocktail. This one looks as bright and lovely as the blossoms outside my window, but makes me feel better about being stuck inside.
Yesterday was my son’s 8th birthday, and though I’ve railed against the dreaded children’s party for years (#thirdkid), I never imagined a pandemic would be the way I would wiggle out of hosting. I felt sad, my friends. An 8 year old should not celebrate in isolation, no matter how cranky his mother is about parties.
Instead of seeing friends, we did a drive-by of my parents’ house — kind of like the safari at Six Flags, except instead of giraffes, we saw Grandma and Poppy. Of course, we heeded all the distancing rules, but I did leave a bag of groceries on the doorstep. #dontfeedthewildlife
My son’s class sang “Happy Birthday” to him via Zoom and, after dinner, we FaceTimed family to sing and blow out candles (on a brownie that we used as a dummy and promptly threw in the garbage because #spit).
The real birthday heroes, though, were his kind friends and their thoughtful families, who dropped gifts and notes on the porch, sent videos and FaceTimed. I have not seen him smile so wide in awhile. These weeks have been hard on him, no matter how hard we try to maintain the facade of normalcy.
Of course, I cried. Which made the dog sneeze.