April now. Fat, white flakes swirl, cluster, and gather on the window pane. They coat the car, the driveway, every surface. I’m less than happy about it. I’m less than happy about a lot of things right now.
Forgive me this post. Emotion demands that we go in before we can get through. Feel it; don’t think it. When depression knocks I hate to open that door. Like a homeless cousin, I’m afraid that if I invite depression in it will stay for a long time… but I don’t want it hanging around outside of my door either. I want to be a person who talks about hard things. I am trying to get unstuck.￼
I’ve been asking people why we feel so down. No end in sight. Boredom. Isolation. Loneliness. Nothing to look forward to. We’ve been living with COVID-19 for a year. You’d think we’d be used to it. Vaccinations are happening; we might start to feel a measure of safety and normalcy. Yet all I have is questions. Can I go inside of stores and restaurants now? Are you going? Will all this new activity come down on my kids?￼￼ Have you been vaccinated? Can I ask that?
So much has happened since the new year and also so little. Avery is going to bed more easily. The brothers have ten teeth between them. Sleep is precious. I have gone from regretfully ignoring my old dog to unabashedly ignoring my old dog.
Over spring break I traveled out of Alaska; it was my first trip in a long while. For two weeks I enjoyed sunshine, flowers, and family. Avery’s behavior was awesome and it was a nice little vacation from my problems. But now, I’m back.
Back to the stress of waiting. For Avery to outgrow tantrums. For our family to figure out peaceable conflict resolution. Back to another friend long-hauling with Covid. Another friend with cancer and a go-fund-me site. (Why is this the way we fund healthcare in this country?￼!) No produce in this town. I put some alfalfa seeds in water to sprout on the window ledge. How long will that take?￼
One of the things I have learned on this becoming-a-better-person journey called parenthood is that chaos is short-lived. When the house blows up with voices, crying, agitation, food on every surface, etc. I don’t panic. Fifteen minutes, I think. It will all be over in 15 minutes.￼ I can buy myself a little time without freaking out but that is my limit. My boundary. My max. If chaos exceeds the time allowed, I crash.
When Covid started, I gave it a year.￼
March was a marker, but of what? We can no longer look over our shoulder and see where we came from, but visibility ahead is also poor. The horizon holds no promise of resolution.
Even when the threat of this illness has past there will be the social reckoning. So many difficult conversations are left unresolved. Mask-wearing and social distancing added visible fuel to an already mile high fire.￼￼ We can’t take back what we know.￼
So, we wait.￼ Even as everything has changed, and with evidence to the contrary, we trust that spring still follows￼ winter.