I miss the supermarket. I miss the bins of fresh produce, the shelves of bread, the luxury of knowing that, if we need something else, I’ll be back tomorrow.  Really, the problem is that I am not a planner. I used to shop almost everyday, meandering up and down the aisles and picking up whatever I’d forgotten the day before. Those days are over. Now food shopping is like hunting, and I am more of

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Day 21 or 22. What does it matter? I’ve started walking in the mornings before the kids wake up. I notice a lot of people running, many look like they haven’t run in awhile. Actually, they look kind of miserable. Quarantine is a good time to start new exercise routines, I guess. As I walk, I listen to my latest podcast obsession Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend (this one is particularly funny). Humor is keeping

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Day 10: 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

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Day 8 (I think): My husband said to me last night with a long, deep sigh: Can you believe it’s only Tuesday? Well, now it’s Wednesday and I’m not sure I’m feeling the progress. By progress, I mean the forward movement of time. Weekends in quarantine blend into the weekdays. On Saturday, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher three times. My daughter found a recipe for DIY self tanner — which I told her was

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Day 4: Happy Friday! We made it through the first week. Sadly, I wrote these words yesterday, thinking it was Friday. Sometime during our 46th game of Clue, I realized it was only Thursday. Also realized that I hate the game Clue. Virtual schooling was a real-life rollercoaster. One high schooler’s portal kept crashing, prompting soothing emails from administrators, trying to calm the panic this caused among the students. The student in my house was

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Day 2: Morning. It’s raining. So now the dog smells, prompting the question from my 16 year old, “Imagine how bad wolves in the wild must smell up close?” Before I engage in this conversation, I need to know if this is science or philosophy? We need the credits. Also, I need coffee. In preparation for virtual learning, the seven year old has agonized and debated over what to call me during “school hours.” He

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Day 1: Virtual homeschooling for our grammar school starts tomorrow; today was an organizational day. Unlike my peers, I did not get organized. If you are not good at organizing under normal circumstances, I’m here to tell you that your organizational skills do not improve under pressure. My mind is scattered. There are legos and leprechaun traps everywhere. Somehow, this feels right. On the other hand, my 17 year old started her online schoolwork this

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Generally speaking, I am not a good long-term planner -- I need specific and short-term goals. Which is probably why I found myself starting to exercise again just one week before Memorial Day Weekend. Of course, whipping a 44 year old body into bathing suit form is not a short-term task. I should have started exercising regularly in February. But in February, I was trying to get two teenagers through the drudgery of mid-school-year with

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For spring break this year, as other families posted Instagram pictures from sunny locations, my daughter and I packed the car and headed out on the road to look at colleges. Our itinerary would take us through Pennsylvania into Washington DC, then up through Baltimore and back home to New Jersey. The plan included five schools, four tours and two overnights with family and friends. The weather was spectacular. Just beautiful enough, I hoped, to

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The thing with having kids ten years apart is that you remember just enough of each phase to accept that almost all behaviors fall within a broad spectrum of normal, but forget the specifics in ways that surprise you when you are reminded of the gritty details of child-rearing. Like the heebie-jeebies you get when confronted with a wiggly tooth hanging on by a wisp of gum. I forgot about that feeling until last week.

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